Summary: God has given us His wonderful grace and that is simply amazing
When Billy Graham was driving through a small southern town, he was stopped by a policeman and charged with speeding. Graham admitted his quilt, but was told by the officer that he would have to appear in court.
The judge asked, "Guilty, or not guilty?" When Graham pleaded guilty, the judge replied, "That’ll be ten dollars -- a dollar for every mile you went over the limit."
Suddenly the judge recognized the famous minister. "You have violated the law," he said. "The fine must be paid--but I am going to pay it for you." He took a ten dollar bill from his own wallet, attached it to the ticket, and then took Graham out and bought him a steak dinner! "That," said Billy Graham, "is how God treats repentant sinners!"
Now that is grace! Paul describes God’s grace in a unique and wonderful way in his letter to Titus. If you have your Bibles open with me to the second chapter starting at verse 11.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
I. Grace that leads to Eternity
A. Grace opens the door to eternity
1. It is only by the grace of God that we can have salvation
Every person needs grace because we have sinned. Paul teaches us that everyone has sinned (Romans 3:23) and everyone acts in rebellion to God’s will. Every person needs grace because we will die. The simple fact of life is that we will all one day die. Our human nature is not eternal. The good news is that God has given us grace and offers us salvation. Through Christ, God has made His grace known to humanity
2. The reality of God’s grace
Grace is free sovereign favor to the ill deserving – George Sweeting
Grace is complete undeserved and unmerited favor
Grace is God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense
God has given because He knows we would be completely lost without it. God has shown us all mercy beyond what we can understand and far beyond what we deserve.
B. Grace is offered to all people
1. God has made His grace completely inclusive
Paul states the grace of God “appeared to all men” which means that God has extended His call of grace to every person. There is not a single person that God does not desire to see saved and redeemed. Since God is gracious, he allows every person a choice to accept this grace or decline it. God does not force us to follow Him.
2. The grace of God
God’s grace is a gift. It cannot be earned in any way. Salvation is a gift and it is one that we do not deserve.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
God has given you a marvelous gift – now is the time to accept it.
II. Grace that leads to Enlightenment
A. Grace opens the door to enlightenment
1. The grace of God assists us to leave the old life
Paul specifically mentions two areas that have to be dealt with:
Ungodliness: Essentially ungodliness can be defined as having a lack of love for God or having no regard for God at all. This accurately describes our modern culture.
Worldly passions: These are the desires or wants of the world that has no regard or love for God. Literally these desires or passions flow from godless mind set or way of thinking
2. The grace of God instructs us in living the new life
God’s grace gives discipline. The grace of God helps us to live a life that brings glory and honor to Him. The grace of God gives us the fortitude to resist the ungodliness of this world and live a life that pleases God
God’s grace gives direction. The grace that God gives to us directs in how we should live. In His grace, God has supplied His Word to give us instruction and His Holy Spirit to give us personal direction
B. Grace brings us hope
1. Grace teaches hope
What is a blessed hope? Paul uses the Greek word makarious, which we have translated blessed in English, and this word conveys a sense of happiness or joy. Literally, Paul is saying that the hope of Christ’s return should make us happy and joyful.