11For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14who 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.
The following are some excerpts taken from Christine Coltman’s notes on our recent bible study on Titus 2:11-14. The entirety of these notes are on this blog under the heading of 2018-2019 Bible Study Questions and Notes. May we all be blessed and changed to more like Jesus!
PART ONE v11, 14 – GOD IS FOR US (He won us)
…The reason why this is so motivational to us as Christians is that God was free not to be gracious to us. He has never, and will never owe us anything. But God did freely chose us, and sent his Son to die for us so that we could freely choose him….
Paul knew that there will be times when you need to tell people what the good life looks like, but if you want people to actually live a good life it’s great that we don’t have to focus on the good we must do for God, but can meditate on the good God has done for us.
PART TWO v12 – AND HIS GRACE WILL TRAIN US
…….I’m so grateful that Jesus is not the launching event for our faith who then clocks off and tells us to try our best. He is with us every step of the way, willing us on and strengthening us.
I’m also grateful that our acceptance with God is never on the basis of our performance – it is all his grace. When we say no to things that displease him, God is rooting for us through his enabling grace.
It says in tonight’s passage that he wants us to live for our best, ‘in this present age’ – that means right now. And that in itself is a challenge as we live in a fallen world, an ‘evil world’, as Paul says, where Satan often seems to reign. But as Douglas Milne says: ‘The best news of the gospel is that what it demands it gives to those who submit to it. That is the meaning of grace.’ We are never on our own as we undertake the training of grace….
…If we consider tonight’s section of Titus as verses that are (as indeed they are!) written to us right here, right now, we should take encouragement from them that God has promised to stick with us, making us the very best that we can be, through his enabling grace. The grace that saves us is the grace that trains us. Grace does not do one without the other – those he saves, he works hard in, with the aim of making us more like Jesus day by day.
PART THREE v13-14 – SO TRACK TOWARDS CHRIST’S RETURN (He is coming back for us)
…It’s massively encouraging and inspiring, particularly on the hard days when living the good life seems neither worth it nor even possible. This also means that our justification is complete and already finished. Verses 11 and 13 are in a sense the bookends of our lives – Jesus has appeared and he will return for those who love him….
….I know that I am certainly prone to holding on very lightly to his hope, and the result of this is that I replace Jesus with uncertain earthly things. This then means that I then easily fall prey to fear and anxiety. I basically try and carve out my own little heaven on earth that is more easily within my control.
The trouble with doing that is that then, when bad things hit, we fall apart. The only thing in life that cannot be taken from us is our hope in Christ, the security of the cross. When that our focus, the peace that is in us is firm and immovable because that hope is certain and true. That is what grace trains us to do – keep our focus on Jesus.
…I hope we can all be encouraged by these words as we remember what Jesus has done for us, as we live for him, wait for him to return; all not in our own strength, but through his.
God is for us and his grace will train us, so track towards Christ’s return