TITUS: GRACE FOR LIVING THE GOOD LIFE
4. THE TRAINING OF GRACE (TITUS 2 11-14)
Titus is a very little letter with very big truths about God’s grace for living the good life. In our last study Vicky spoke on Chapter 2 v 1-10 which gives the context of the good life that Titus is to commend to the church in Crete. Paul was concerned with how our behaviour and relationships (living the good life) can make the gospel of Christ attractive to others.
In this study (2 v 11-14) Paul tells us the SOURCE of the good life, our awesome motivation, which is the grace and glory of God revealed in Jesus Christ. Paul describes grace as a teacher, working in our hearts to make us more like our Saviour Jesus as we live between the two appearings of Jesus (his life on earth and his coming return). Grace doesn’t just prepare us for our heavenly life but shapes our lives in the present. That means the gospel is good news for the last day but also good news for today.
Read Titus 2:11-14
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 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.
Grace: the undeserved love of God to those saved by Christ that achieves our salvation
Ungodliness: a rejection of all that has to do with God
Hope (Greek): not what might be but what is assured; a term of real encouragement
1. Grace came to offer salvation (v11) – how should its coming impact on our lives (v12, 14)?
2. We can’t live the good life on our own. What gives us the power to do so, and how? (v11-12)
3. Why should we want to live the good life? (v13-14) What is your motivation in life and why?
4. We are called to live in between the two appearings of Christ. Grace makes us wait, creating a ‘not yet’ dimension in our hearts. How can we be Christians who live in the world (“this present age” v12) but are not of the world (“his very own” v14)?
(If you are short of time, please just choose one of the two passages below to study together)
Read 2 Peter 1 v 3-4
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5. We are to call each other to practical lives of self-control and submission as taught in Titus 2 v 1-10, but what above all are we to teach one another? How does this help us become more like Jesus?
6. How does Jesus’s grace create the power to say no to the sin in our hearts?
Read Romans 6 v 19-23
19Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
7. How does grace change the longings of our hearts?
8. How is grace working in your life and how is it practically changing your desires?
Although we can’t change our sinful desires ourselves, God gives us the power to achieve what we can’t through his grace. Praise God for his enabling grace, given so freely.
Pray that we will we able to encourage others to live the good life. Praise God that we can do this not by emphasising the good that they must do for God, but by telling them of the good that God has done for them.
Pray that we will be able to live godly lives here and now, while always keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus’s return.