Monday, September 14, 2020
This week in our study of the Last Days I want to encourage us with what the Lord Jesus gave us during the worship service yesterday. There were four principles from four passages of Scripture dealing with the last days, all from the writings of the Apostle Paul. As I reflect on the first principle from Paul’s letter to Titus, there are some things that are having a powerful impact on my heart and mind. Here’s what the Holy Spirit has to say through the pen of Paul.
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
The principle we introduced yesterday was this:
Everything in the world is progressing according to God’s purpose to reveal the glory of His Son Jesus.
But surrounding this principle in the text are some serious challenges to how we should be living while we wait for the glory of Jesus to be revealed.
- The grace of God that saves us also trains us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions. It has become increasingly obvious to me that many people who claim to have been saved by the grace of God are ignoring the transforming power of God in their lives. They claim to have the knowledge of God, but they presume it can coexist alongside the self-serving activities of ungodliness and worldly passion. This is not possible where God’s grace is understood. Remember the words of Paul to Timothy from our study last week? “…having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
- The grace of God that saves us also trains us to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age. That’s a tall order and getting increasingly difficult to accomplish. How can we be successful at being self-controlled, upright, and godly is an age where evil is growing exponentially? We can’t, except for the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit producing the character of Christ in us. The grace of God has both saved us and equipped us with everything we need for life and godliness. Here’s what the Apostle Peter said.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” 2 Peter 1:3-4
WOW! That is so encouraging. The power of God’s grace, delivered to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit, has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Go ahead, read that again, and let the truth of it transform the way you think about life. You do not have to be the victim of sinful desires, but the victor over them.
Amen! It’s not our lives + Jesus. We have become NEW creatures by the renewing of our minds. Unfortunately, we as humans make that a process rather than an instantaneous transformation. Thanks, John for that reminder and encouragement.