In this modern age, grace has been either completely misunderstood or only partially understood. A popular theological definition of grace has been: unmerited or undeserved favor. Yet, how does the Apostle Paul define grace in the scriptures? We discover in Paul’s epistle or letter to Titus, that he defines grace based on what grace teaches. Starting in Titus chapter 2:11-13, Paul begins to lay-out clearly what grace teaches us; reading from the King James version (KJV) bible, it says,
(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;”
Grace, first of all, has appeared to all men, but all men, sadly, have not accepted this grace of God. Yet, Paul is saying that it is offered to everyone regardless of who we are, regardless of our station in life, God has offered His grace or His favor to empower to each of us. Then, Paul wanted to define to Titus what grace is teaching.
What Does Grace Teach Us?
Grace teaches us in one word: holiness. We don’t hear this much these days because people don’t want to hear the whole truth. But grace teaches us this holiness by teaching us to deny ourselves of ungodliness (or wickedness based on a lack of fear of God), to deny ourselves of worldly lust (or materialistic, ungodly, desires in this present age). There is, however, even more to what grace teaches.
Grace teaches soberness which means being subdued and self-restrained. It is amazing how that this is not preached as much anymore! Grace, also, teaches us how to live righteously and how to live godly while we are still on planet Earth. Living righteously with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is what real grace actually teaches. This is how the Apostle Paul taught the actions and activity of grace to Titus.
Many us teach the cross as being the only and single answer to man’s problems and dilemmas, and this is true. However, in order for the blood that Jesus shed on the cross to be effective in our lives, we must have a heart of: true repentance, a desire to take the effort to obey God (with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit), and a belief that as we start toward God He will meet us where we are as we seek Him.!
Therefore, in conclusion, grace does not teach that we can live any-kind of ungodly and unrighteous way and still be saved. On the contrary, according to Paul who, by the way wrote most of the New Testament, grace teaches us to live holy before God Almighty. It teaches us to yearn for Him and His soon return. In short, grace takes us from where we are, to where we need to be in God. AMEN