Summary: A sermon that details the work of schooling grace after true conversion.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
INTRODUCTION: I have read and preached from this passage on more occasions than I can count with all my fingers and toes and I will tell that it has always been a favorite of mine and probably yours too. Most of the time when we read this text the focus is on the "...grace that bringeth salvation..." and I'll have to admit that this is true for me but today I want us to consider verse 10 where we find the phrase "...Teaching us..." from which we get our word education. So grace not only saves us, it educates us, it schools us, it instructs us, it informs us, it trains us, it edifies us, it disciplines us and to use a sports metaphor, it "coaches us up."
Before I go any further though, let me make a couple of observations that are shared by many in the faith community. First, Christian writers, pastors and others in the Lord's work are voicing a concern that there seems to be a disconnect between the concept of a conversion experience and the incarnation of a Christian life and lifestyle. What I mean is that we know what to do but we are not doing it. All over the faith community there are voices being raised about the failure of modern day believers to behave like believers. Survey after survey tells us that there is almost no difference between the sinners' lifestyle and the saints! This may explain why the church is having so little influence on the culture we deal with daily. Second, and I would think that this is even more important is we need to ask ourselves a question. What is the point and purpose of God's plan of redemption? Is it not to make us more and more like Christ so that ultimately we will be "...like..." Him? Remember that Jesus is the sinless, guileless son of God. The goal of the Christian life is that we would be conformed to His image.
The question then is "What comes after salvation by grace?" The answer is, "Schooling by grace!" If you really get what Jesus has to give it will not only change your life, it will change your lifestyle! Today, I'm going to share three truths found in this text that speak directly to this issue and hopefully make some relevant life applications. First, grace teaches us that we are to:
I. Leave the Sinful Life
Some commentaries translate the word "...teaching..." found in verse 12 to mean disciplining us and it is certainly obvious that where our flesh is concerned we need discipline. What does the grace of God discipline us to do?
a. Teaches the denial of individuality
This is essential to discipleship. That's what our Lord taught His disciples.
ILL - Mark Dever, in his book, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, says, "According to [Jonathan] Edwards, while all these things [loving the church, an increase in joy, etc.] may be evidences of true Christian growth, the only certain observable sign of such growth is a life of increasing holiness, rooted in Christian self-denial."
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.
b. Teaches the denial of idolatry
All ungodliness is ultimately a form of idolatry and a violation of the first and greatest commandment.
Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them...
And before you say "how can idolatry be an issue in the life of a Christian?" you need to remember the several of the NT writers warned believers about the dangers of this sin. Paul asks the question in regard to the dangers of idolatry in his second letter to Corinth.
2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.