Summary: Grace teaches us how to live for Christ.
Pupils of Grace
1. Illustration: The story was passed on over internet about Little Billy, a Jewish boy, who was failing his math lessons. His parents tried everything they could to get him to do better in this subject, but he continued to fail. At last, they took him down to the Catholic School, and enrolled him. After the first day, Billy came home and went up to his room, closed the door, and went to work on his math. His parents could hardly get him down for supper. After supper, he went back and "hit the books again." When his report card came next time, he laid it on the table for his parents to find. When his mother read it, she was amazed. He had an "A" in math. She questioned him about it wondering how such a change had come about. She asked him if it were the teachers, or the kind of books they used, but he said "no." Then why the change in his math scores? He said, "That first day at school, I looked up on the wall, and I saw a man nailed to a plus sign, and I knew that they were not fooling around here. So I went to work on my math." We all need a little motivation now and then.
2. We all know that grace saves us, but grace also teaches us.
a. It teaches us what to give up.
b. It teaches us how to live.
c. It teaches us who to look for.
Proposition: Grace teaches us how to live for Christ.
Transition: First of all...
I. Grace Teaches Us What to Give Up (11-12a)
A. Denying Ungodliness
1. Paul begins by telling something we are already familiar with "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men..."
a. We know that it is by grace that we are saved.
b. The entire program of redemption is rooted in "the grace of God," his free favor and spontaneous action toward needy sinners to deliver and transform them. - Expositor’s Bible Commentary, The, Pradis CD-ROM
c. The verb appeared, from which we derive our word "epiphany," means "to become visible, make an appearance," and conveys the image of grace suddenly breaking in on our moral darkness, like the rising sun.
2. However, Paul also tells us something we may not know about grace: it teaches us. How can grace teach us?
a. If you recall, we said that grace is a part of God’s character.
b. Since it is grounded in God’s nature, grace makes ethical demands of Christians consistent with his nature. - Expositor’s Bible Commentary, The, Pradis CD-ROM
c. If grace is a part of God’s nature than it is going to be in line with the rest of His nature.
d. Since God cannot contradict Himself, any part of His nature cannot contradict another part of His nature.
3. Okay, now that we know that God’s grace can teach, what does it teach us? It teaches us two things: one positive and one negative.
4. First, the negative thing that it teach us is "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts..."
a. I like the way the NIV phrases it: " It teaches us to say "No"
b. Rom. 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?