Four Facets of Godís Redemptive Grace
Salvation From The Power of Sin
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered September 3, 2006
"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; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:11-14
Letís review the definition of grace. Saving Grace is the unmerited eternal salvation of God, which comes freely to the believing sinner as a gift through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Last week we looked the first facet or aspect of graceÖ
1. Salvation From The Penalty of Sin Ė v. 11b
The ONLY remedy for the penalty of sin is seen in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in John 8:24 "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
We read in Titus 2:14a "Who [Christ] gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquityÖ." The salvation Christ offers to us by grace, through faith provides for all who believe in Him release (salvation) from the penalty of sin.
Todayís focus is the second facet of the Grace of GodÖ
2. Salvation From The Power of Sin v.12
"Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;"
Turn with me in you hymnal to hymn number #62 "O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing." Look at the verse 4 Ė "He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free." Charles Wesley wrote these words. He wrote over 9000 hymns. He wrote his first hymn three days after he was saved and averaged one hymn every two days for the rest of his life.
The reason I point out this hymn to your is because it expresses the second facet of the Grace of God so beautifully and concisely. To be sure, Salvation brings a change of position. Instead from being a condemned slave, the believer is set free from the penalty of sin. But, there is more! Salvation also brings a change of attitude, ambition, and action. The same grace that redeems us also transforms our lives enabling us to live holy lives. Or as the song says, "He breaks the power of canceled sin!"
Remember, Godís Grace brings Salvation from the power of sin. Here how it works. When you trust Christ as Savior you receive a "new nature." We read in 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Immediately the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us and He becomes our resident teacher. Turn to 1 Corinthians 2:12-13 "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."I like what Dr. David Sorensen says about grace. "Grace does not mean ĎI can do anything I wish.í Grace is not a standardless, libertarian, do-your-own-thing philosophy. Though grace has freed us from the bondage of the law, it has not turned us loose to ungodliness and unrighteousness."
Thatís what Titus 2:12 is all about. The grace of God, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, teaches the believer how to live a holy life.
The word teaching in verse 12 is a translation of the Greek word paideuousa paideuousa (pahee-dyooí-sa) which means to instruct. We are instructed by Godís grace and trained to be the kind of people that glorify Him.
Letís first look at the negative aspect of Godís instructing grace.
Godís Saving Grace breaks sins power and sinís
dominion in the lives of believers, and teaches us how to live holy
lives pleasing to the Lord. Remember, the moment you trust Christ as
your Savior you are given a new nature that desires to live holy.
Grace teaches us how to life holy. For a better understanding of
what I am saying turn in your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 2:12-16
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit
which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given
to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in
the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost
teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for
they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is
spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct
him? But we have the mind of Christ."
Letís look at the negative aspect of Godís instructing grace.
The negative aspect of Godís instructive grace is seen in verse 12a Ė "denying ungodliness and worldly lustsÖ" The word denying is a translation of the Greek word arnhsamenoi arnesamenoi (ar-nesa-men-oi) which means "to say no to." This verb carries the idea that a believer is to make a conscious, purposeful decision to say no to or abandon sin. We see this same principle in Romans 12:1-2 Ė "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
When a person genuinely trusts Christ as Savior there is a divine enablement to separate from and say no sin. The sins in focus here are ungodliness and worldly lusts.
Letís examine the word ungodliness first. It is a translation of the Greek word asebeian asebeian (as-eb-íe-ian) which carries with it the idea of all things that are contrary to God; things that are against His commands and ordinances. In short, it is living without regard for Godís principles and commands. So, the grace of God instructs the believer to abandon sin. That is, to renounce and have no more to do with these: ungodliness and irreligion, all unbelief, neglect or disregard of the Lord God Almighty, not loving, nor fearing, nor trusting in Him, nor obeying him as we should, neglecting his ordinances, slighting his worship, profaning his name or day. We are to deny ungodliness (hate and put it away). Paul puts it this way in Ephesians 4:22-23 - "That ye put off concerning the former conversation [behavior] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;"
Second negative aspect that believers are to say not to and abandon is worldly lusts. The word lusts is epiyumiav epithumias (ep-ee-thoo-meeí-ahs) which means desire, craving, longing, and for what is forbidden, in this context, by God.
Ungodliness behavior and worldly
lusts are identified in Galatians 5:19-21&24 "Now the
works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry,
witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions,
heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and
such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told
you in time past, that they which do such things shall not
inherit the kingdom of God. 24 And they that are Christ's
have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
Finally, we come to the positive aspects of Godís instructing grace. Grace instructs us to "live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world" verse 12b. These three words form the foundation of Christian character.
Letís begin by looking at the word soberly. The word soberly (swfronwv sophronos) has the sense of being under control, self-discipline and sensible. The believer is under the control of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and not under control of worldly lusts and desires.
Next is the word righteously. To live righteously is to faithfully obey the Bible, the Word of God, which reveals Godís standard of righteousness.
Finally, the last word in this trilogy is godly, which is a translation of the Greek word eusebwv eusebos (yoo-seb-oceí), which means to be devoted to God, which is characterized by living a life that pleases Him.
The grace of God bringsÖ 1) Salvation from
the penalty of sin and 2) Salvation from the power of sin.
When you receive Christ you get a new nature. The Holy Spirit
empowers you to break the power of canceled sin and live a sober,
righteous, and godly life. The grace of God transform and purifies
the genuine believer to make us more like Christ. Titus 2:14
says, "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all
iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good