Summary: There is much more to God’s grace than just its saving power. Christians need to learn to get the most out of God’s grace.
MAKING THE MOST OF GRACE
I’m a pretty technically minded guy, and I like gadgets as much as the next person. But I just don’t seem willing or able to embrace the technology that has sprung up around cell phones. They make me feel positively old-fashioned. Maybe it’s just that when I hear the word phone, I assume that the primary purpose of the device is to allow me to make and receive calls. Somewhere along the way, however, cell phones manufacturers have reduced the telephone aspect of their product to one feature among many. My cheap cell phone allows you to use it as a camera, to play several games, to play videos and music and to send instant messages.
I call myself a purist, and insist that I buy a phone to use it as a phone, but in reality I’m just not that motivated to find out how all the bells and whistles work. I’m still too lazy to save people’s numbers in the address book. As for texting? Keith sent me a text message one day, and I struggled for five minutes to send him an answer. I’m sure I could get a lot more out of the phone if I’d apply myself to learning and using all of its features.
A lot of Christians respond the same way when it comes to God’s grace. They perceive grace as what saved them and that’s pretty much it. And just as I could get more out of my phone if I put any effort forth, the average Christian could have a much more rich experience of God’s grace if they understood it better and availed themselves of it.
Please turn with to our text for this morning, Titus 2:11-14.
Our sermon title today is “Making the Most of Grace”. As we consider how God’s grace impacts us every day, we’ll answer the question:
What are 4 responses to God’s grace?
I) The first response to God’s grace is to accept Christ.
Text: Titus 2:11
A) The apostle Paul describes God’s grace as what brings salvation.
• As I mentioned earlier, this is usually what people think about first when they consider grace.
o We sing the song, “Amazing Grace”, which says in the first verse, “I once was lost, but now am found”.
o Or the song, “Grace Greater Than Our Sin”, which speaks about grace’s power to pardon us and cleanse us of our sins.
• These songs are absolutely correct from a theological standpoint. And this is the starting point for anyone who desires to live within God’s grace.
• Look no further than Ephesians 2:8-9. Even our ability to believe in Jesus Christ is a function of God’s grace.
o Most people define God’s grace as His unmerited favor.
o In other words, we’ve done nothing to deserve His love and mercy toward us.
• If you’re here today and have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you’ve partaken of God’s common grace, in that as your Creator, He’s blessed you with life, and all of the things in your life that you hold dear.
• However, you aren’t able to enjoy the grace of God that brings salvation.
o That’s because your sin nature has separated you from God. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That includes you, me and everyone who’s ever walked the earth save one: Jesus Christ.
o The penalty for sin is death, which means physical death and also eternal separation from God. That separation will lead to hell and torment for the rest of eternity. God doesn’t send you there. Your rebellion as God’s enemy sends you there.
B) But God’s great grace provides a way out of this hopeless future, as well as a way to live at peace with Him. Our text for today says that God has provided this for all people, regardless of where they came from.
• That way is through trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, as Jesus Himself describes in John 3:16.
• Grace says that you can’t buy salvation and you can’t work for it. It’s free for those who repent of their sin and proclaim faith in Jesus Christ, as Romans 10:9-10 says.
• There’ll be an opportunity at the end of the service to respond if the Holy Spirit is calling you to repent and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
The first response to God’s grace is to accept Christ.
II) The second response to God’s grace is a yielded life.
Text: Titus 2:12
A) The first two words in verse 12, “teaching us”, present a profound concept: Grace teaches us. That teaching comes through two major avenues.
• First, the Holy Spirit teaches us, as we see in 1 Corinthians 2:12-16. The Holy Spirit resides in us and gives us the mind of Christ, so that we can discern those things that are of God and those things that aren’t.