For the Grace of God Has Appeared…

“For the grace of God 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, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” 

Titus 2:11-14 

I can not get these verses out of my head. They were part of our study at Transform Ministry’s December Student Conference earlier this month. We studied the book of Titus, focusing on the topic of doctrine. This passage, however, jumped out at me especially in regard to this Christmas season. I took these verses and weighed them against how I usually view Christmas and the Baby in the manger. Titus 2:11-14 adds power to that stable scene. They show what Christ did (and does) for us and what we do in Christ. 

Look at the verses while considering what we celebrate this time of year. I read them and see Christ’s birth, “for the grace of God has appeared.” I also see His death and resurrection, “bringing salvation to all men….Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us.” I even see His coming again, “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior.” 

Earlier in Titus, Paul mentions the hope of eternal life promised by God (Titus 1:2-3). God manifested that hope at the proper time. When was that? At Jesus’ birth when, as Titus 2:11 says, the grace of God appeared. Why did His grace appear? Why did Jesus appear? To give us that manifested promise. To “bring salvation to all men,” (verse 11). To–as verse 14 says–redeem us, purify us, and possess us. Read that again. The Baby came to redeem us. He came to purify us. He came to posses us. When I look at my manger scene, that is the purpose I see there. 

What about us? We are not left out here. When we worship God our Savior this Christmas let us consider not only singing His praise in our carols, but living His glory in our lives. Look at verses 11 and 12. Salvation came to save us, but it also instructs us. Make a list with me on what salvation is instructing us to do: to deny ungodliness, deny worldly desires, to live sensibly, to live righteously, to live godly, looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our God. I think of Isaiah 58 which is about true fasting–about living out fasting in a way pleasing to God. I compare Titus 2 to a part of true worship God shows us–living out worship in a way pleasing to Him. 

Consider, also, verse 14 and how we may live worship here. Christ’s redemption of us is from lawless deeds. Christ purifies us as a people for His possession. What kind of people? A people “zealous for good deeds.” We are redeemed from lawless deeds–set free from slavery to them–and purified to be zealous for good deeds. 

Christmas is all about the worship of our Savior. I love worshiping Him in Christmas songs (though I can’t sing, so they are for His ears only). My family always worships by reading the Christmas story from Luke 2. But this year I also want to intentionally worship Him by living Titus 2:11-14. I want to worship Him knowing that Christ lives in me–empowering me to live in Him. I stand in awe knowing that manger Baby came to set me free from slavery to lawless deeds. That Baby came to purify me so that He might posses me. And I shall live sensibly, righteously and godly in this present age, looking for the blessed hope and the coming again of the glory of my great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. Will you join me in the worship of our King? 

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

 

Stephanie has been serving the past couple of years with Transform Student Ministries as a Boot Camp and Conference Staffer. Stephanie was also, a part of the Intern Program in 2010.

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One Response

12.20.11

Thank you so much for this post! It’s great because even though it was written towards the Christmas season, it is completely applicable to the rest of the seasons (2012). Thank you for breaking the passage down, it helps to do that! I was recently reading Hebrews 1:1-3 and when I read Titus 2:11-14 it was like “the cherry on top.” Super refreshing. Thank you Stephanie!

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