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Summary: The grace that saves is the grace that works through our relationship with ourselves, with others and with God.

When we hear the Gospel or the Good News, what comes to our mind? Do we think of a heavenly real estate deal that after signing up we are now assured of a place in heaven? Do we think of a divine fire insurance that after putting our name on the dotted line we can now heave a deep sigh of relief because we are skipping hell? Is it as simple as ABC? Accept believe and confess? Is that all there is to the Good News? In a recent study of contemporary religion in America, sociologists have found a disturbing trend among teenagers. For them, “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem… The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.” [1] Simply put, relationship with God became a religion about Him. But I think that point of view is not just held by teenagers and it is not just found among Americans. Is that it? Is that what the Good News is all about?

What’s so good about the Good News, anyway? Of course, when we put our faith in our Lord Jesus as Savior, we have eternal life. But there’s more to the Good News than just making sure we would enjoy heaven and won’t endure hell. Yes, when we believe, we will find peace. But the Good News is not just about peace. It’s not at all just about feeling good. There’s more to the Good News than that. There’s more to it than just making a decision for Christ and then proceeding with our lives as usual. So, what’s so good about the Good News?

Titus 2:11-14 gives us the answer. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live selfcontrolled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”[2] Here we see that the reason the news is good is because the Good News involves all aspects of our life. Why? Because the grace that SAVES is the grace that WORKS. Let us pray first…

In the Greek, Titus chapter 2 verses 11 to 14 are actually one long sentence. Titus was the pastor of the church in that place called Crete. The Cretans or those who live in Crete have a bad reputation. In Titus 1:12, we read that “Even one of their own prophets has said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.’” Now that they became believers, they should live differently. But there are some people who “claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”[3] There are people like that today. People who claim they are believers yet we wonder as we look at their lives if they really are believers. Now before we think I am referring to the person to your left or to your right, consider first if the person sitting where you are seated right now is really a Christ follower.

First, let us talk about the grace that saves. Verse 11 tells us, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” Circle the phrase “the grace of God.” Grace is God’s kindness that He freely gives us even if we are not worthy to receive it. His grace “brings salvation”. We read this in Ephesians 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.” We can’t earn salvation. It is only made possible by grace not by good works. We receive it through faith in our Lord Jesus. If that is not clear enough, look at Romans 11:6. “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” Grace is God’s gift. If you have to pay for a gift, if you have to earn it, if you have to deserve it, it’s no longer a gift. We are saved by grace, not by works.

What does it mean that “the grace of God… has APPEARED to all men”? We got the word “epiphany” from the Greek word used here for “appeared,” which either means “the sudden realization or leap in understanding” or “the appearance of manifestation of God.” In the Greek, it means “the dawning of light upon darkness”[4] or “to become visible or known.” But the grace that appeared here is not just an idea that we suddenly understood. Paul used the same Greek word in verse 13: “the glorious APPEARING of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”. So, here in our context, the grace that has already appeared refers to our Lord Jesus. Verse 11 talks about His first coming and verse 13 refers to His second coming. He is grace in the flesh. When we talk of grace here we are talking of a person, not a principle. We don’t just talk about the Lord. We connect with Him. That’s what so good about the Good News. Christianity is a relationship, not a religion… an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Here He is called “our great God and Savior”. This is one of the clearest and strongest verses to prove that Jesus is equal with the Father, that He is God. Some people would say that “great God” refers to the Father and “Savior” refers to the Son. But it did not say “our great God and OUR Savior”. If the verse is phrased as such, that would mean that Paul was referring to two persons. But it says “OUR great God AND Savior.” Literally in the Greek, it goes like this: “the great God and Savior of us Jesus Christ”. Thus, it refers to one person, “Jesus Christ”. Jesus was not the Father but He is equal with God. And the fact that He is God means that He is Lord, the Master and the Boss of our lives.

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