Summary: It was God’s grace manifested in the person of Jesus Christ that brought us salvation. After salvation it is God’s grace that teaches us how to live for Jesus.
Living for Jesus
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works
Introduction: It is by the grace of God that we are saved. But grace does not stop at salvation. Understand that grace is God’s unmerited favor and supernatural enablement and empowerment for salvation and for daily living. It was God’s grace manifested in the person of Jesus Christ that brought us salvation. After salvation it is God’s grace that teaches us how to live for Jesus. There are three lessons we are to learn from this passage today. We are to learn to say no. We are to learn to live properly. We are to learn to look up
I. Learn to say “No!”
A. Denying – Literally “Say No” or to renounce
B. refuse to consent – Hebrews 11:24-26 “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”
C. Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
D. Say no to ungodliness
1. Refers to that which is obviously immoral, wicked, or evil.
a. Psalm 1:1"Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful"
b. Proverbs 1:10 “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.”
2. Ungodliness also refers to that which has no place for God, a lack of reverence for God and the things of God.
a. John Piper says that “godliness...means a love for the things of God and a walk in the ways of God.” Therefore, ungodliness is a lack of love or lack of desire for the things of God.
b. Ungodliness may be simply a case of indifference towards God.
c. We all have a list of things we are indifferent about. I am indifferent to fishing, while Sam is passionate about fishing. Most of our congregation is indifferent toward biking. Billy and Linda love to ride their bikes. There are those here who are indifferent to baseball. Major loves to watch the Indians. In a lot of cases being indifferent really doesn’t matter. But as believers the one thing we cannot be is indifference to God. We must say no to indifference.
E. Say no to worldly lusts
1. Chrysostom defined worldly lusts as the desire or appetite for the things we cannot show God. They are the things that do not pass over with us into heaven.
2. 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”
3. One hundred years ago it was figured that the average American had 70 wants A similar survey taken recently showed his grandson had nearly 500 on his list.—Beveridge Paper Co. Newsletter
4. 1 Peter 2:11 (NLT) “Dear friends, I warn you as "temporary residents and foreigners" (KJV - pilgrims and strangers) to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.
5. Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world...”
6. 1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world”
II. Learn to Live Properly
A. Live Soberly
1. Soberly - is an adverb meaning with sound mind, self-controlled
2. Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
3. “You are to live soberly in all your thinking, all your speaking, all your acting. There is to be sobriety in all your worldly pursuits. You are to have yourself well in hand: you are to be self-restrained.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
4. Moderation –
5. Philippians 4:5 “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”
6. The essence of emotional self-regulation is the ability to delay impulse in the service of a goal. The importance of this trait to success was shown in an experiment begun in the 1960s by psychologist Walter Mischel at a preschool on the Stanford University campus. Children were told that they could have a single treat, such as a marshmallow, right now. However, if they would wait while the experimenter ran an errand, they could have two marshmallows. Some preschoolers grabbed the marshmallow immediately, but others were able to wait what, for them, must have seemed an endless 20 minutes. To sustain themselves in their struggle, they covered their eyes so they wouldn’t see the temptation, rested their heads on their arms, talked to themselves, sang, even tried to sleep. These plucky kids got the two-marshmallow reward. The interesting part of this experiment came in the follow-up. The children who as 4-year-olds had been able to wait for the two marshmallows were, as adolescents, still able to delay gratification in pursuing their goals. They were more socially competent and self-assertive, and better able to cope with life’s frustrations. In contrast, the kids who grabbed the one marshmallow were, as adolescents, more likely to be stubborn, indecisive, and stressed. – Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, Bantan Books, quoted in Reader’s Digest, January, 1996