Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
The Bible contains a short book which was originally a letter written by the Apostle Paul. It was one of his last pieces of correspondence before he died. The letter was written to a man named Titus. It contained some important points concerning the church that Titus had been appointed to oversee by the Apostle Paul.
The portion of the letter we are looking at is a pep talk of sorts to Titus, from Paul, his life coach. Paul is leaving some final instructions that he wanted Titus to always remember to teach others.
After Paul confirms that God meant for us to live clean and sober, righteous lives, he goes on to give further details that he wanted Titus to share with his church members about how they should behave.
Paul started off by saying, “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.”
Paul was quick to acknowledge the fact that both he and Titus were once guilty of some of the things his church members were now struggling with, when he states: “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.”
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Just as quickly as Paul admits that we all are guilty of past sin, he immediately moves toward several blessings that we have received from God as a result of His goodness in spite our sinful condition.
Paul names five qualities of God’s character: “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly (generosity) through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:1-7 NKJV)
Almost hidden in Paul’s exposition is the word, “justified”. Justified is what you and I have become because of the five attributes of God’s character that Paul listed.
To be JUSTIFIED by God is as good as getting a big red stamp of APPROVAL. It means the same thing as the words, PAID IN FULL or NO CHARGE for our sins.
Jesus Christ had the desire to redeem us from every lawless deed we had committed as sinners. By purifying us through his blood, He created His own special group of people…the justified ones.
The Apostle Paul almost always used his own life as an example of the redeeming power of the blood of Jesus Christ. Before he was converted, Paul was extremely self-righteous. He tried to perform all kinds of good works and did everything according to the letter of the law, in hopes of being considered righteous.
After Paul became aware that he was a plain old sinner in spite of the righteous things he thought he was doing, he realized that true and zealous good works were done as a result of being saved by the grace of God.
Humility is a part of justification. We can’t become justified without being willing to admit that we are guilty and without hope…except for the help of our Savior. Paul wanted Titus to be sure to pass down this same humility to the people he had influence over.
When we’ve had some success in our recovery from depression and dependency, we have to remember the importance of never becoming too self-assured. No matter how much improvement we have made, we will always be a sinner who was saved and justified by the kindness, love, mercy, generosity, and grace of God—through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Declaration: I will find new strength by remembering to always be a humble example of the power of redemption. I will not consider myself better than anyone else, but will be committed to reflect kindness, love, mercy, generosity and grace in all of my relationships.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.