The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

08/11/2010

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Being Taught By Grace


"For the grace has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age" (Titus 2:11-12)

The people of Crete got a pretty bad rap in the Bible, as one of their own poets described them as "always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." Even today the term "Cretan" has come to be a derogatory description of someone. It is to this island that Titus was sent, and the apostle Paul has written this letter to him. It would not seem that Crete was the most desirable place for mission work. It is against this backdrop that Paul writes to Titus about grace. Maybe it is because they seem to engender many negative traits that Paul wants them to know about grace. In today's verse, the first part about grace is pretty standard...It says that grace brings salvation to all men. Paul said that this grace is available and involved in salvation, and that might appear enough to make one recognize and appreciate it. But this verse says more. It says that not only is God's grace for salvation, but also for instruction. It is the second part that I would like to reflect on today. Having been a teacher for so many years, this part piqued my interest. I don't think that I ever viewed grace as a teacher, but clearly Paul says that it teaches us how to live and how not to live. "Instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires." This verse tells us that grace teaches us to avoid ungodliness...Ungodliness is anything that is contrary to behavior that our Lord condones. The worldly desires are the sinful impulses that would tempt us to do wrong. Grace teaches us not to allow these things to be a part of our lives. "And to live sensibly, righteously and godly." On the positive side, grace teaches us how to live...Sensibly....Righteously....Godly.... When we become Christians, our lives should acquire new behavior patterns. Grace teaches us to live in a sensible manner, living a self-controlled life in which we don't allow our emotions to dominate us. It says that we must live righteously, showing that God controls us in our actions toward our fellow man. Finally the easy one to understand. To live godly....To live like God. Some more about this tomorrow....

Have a great day... Make a difference.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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