Sermons

Summary: Most of the time when this question is asked it's in the negative form. "God, why are you doing this?" Perhaps you've asked this question since the pandemic started. But today I'll be looking at this in a positive way regarding the things God does to and for us.

WHAT IS GOD DOING TO US?

Most of the time when this question is asked it's in the negative form. We question what God is allowing us to go through. "God, why are you doing this to me?" Perhaps people have asked this question since the pandemic started. But today, my focus in asking this question will be looking at the positive things God is doing to us. Let's take a look at some of them.

1) He saves us.

Titus 3:3-7, "At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and being enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."

In chapter three of Paul's letter to Titus, who at the time was ministering to the people on the island of Crete, it starts out by reminding them they needed to be subject to rulers and authorities, to slander no one, to be peaceable and humble toward everyone.

As we see in vs. 3, the Cretans were pretty wild. So there was probably a regular pattern of rebellion towards authority figures. But when they became Christians they began to change their ways. So now, after having seen the light, they could see the pagan ways of their countrymen more clearly and were no doubt repulsed by what they saw.

It appears they were starting to slander them and be contentious toward them. Paul knew they needed to be reminded that at one time they were no different. In fact, in chapter one we see this: Titus 1:12, "Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”

The Cretans were quite the bunch. So Paul's like, 'hold on! Before you continue slandering and being inconsiderate, you need to humble yourselves and remember how you used to be before God saved you.' They needed to be told that their salvation and ability to change was not of their own doing. They needed to be humble and remember that it was by God's grace they were saved and not by their own merit. If in their pride they thought they were somehow better than others they weren't.

2nd Tim. 1:9 says that God has saved us and called us to a holy life; not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. It was by God's design and purpose that salvation came through Jesus. Mankind in and of itself doesn't have the desire to seek God; we're not looking to honor him. Apart from God initiating it, salvation wouldn't happen.

Eph. 2:8-9, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."

Being right with God isn't achieved by anything I do but only by what has been done for me through Christ. With that said, Paul isn't removing free will from the equation. Salvation involves me having faith and responding to the gospel; I need to receive the gift that is offered to me.

However, although there's a needed response on my part, salvation is not possible on my own. Faith is something I'm given the privilege to enact if I choose to. I wouldn't have faith if not for God giving me the ability to have it. Within ourselves we have no propensity for goodness. Apart from God enabling us to do good, we wouldn't. Our inherit nature is sinful.

Although God enables us to know right from wrong and make right choices even before we are saved, the ability to know the right thing and do the right thing comes from God; we can't lay claim to it. Knowing all this will cause us to better appreciate God's grace and our salvation, it will cause us to be more understanding of people's actions and it will result in us having greater humility. Who am I without God's amazing grace? What has God done for us? He saved us.

2) He strengthens us.

Psalm 18:30-36, "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.

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