Grace Teaches Godliness

Sound Words graphicFew Bible words are as misunderstood as grace. Bible believers generally understand that the Christian life is begun by grace. However, many are ignorant of the fact that the Christian life continues by grace. Some promote a graceless sanctification that depends on human effort—a genuine legalism. Others teach a “grace awakening” sanctification that almost denies human effort—a sort of antinomianism. How does grace relate to Christian living? Titus 2:11–14 provides the answer.

Grace teaches godliness. Contrary to the “do-what-you-want” view, Titus 2:11–12 says that the same grace that provides salvation for all men teaches Christians to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and instead live soberly, righteously and godly—right now! The same grace that saved you, changes you. If it isn’t, you’re not saved. Grace teaches godliness. So much for antinomianism.

Grace teaches godliness. Contrary to the “do-it-yourself” view, Titus 2:11–12 also says that your Christian life is as grace-based as your Christian birth. (see Gal 3:3) Sure, you participate in your sanctification by denying what is evil and pursuing what is right, but you do so only as you are taught by grace. You need divine enablement. You need the grace that teaches godliness. So much for legalism.

The Christian life is lived in the light of Christ’s two “appearances.” He came once to save us from sin (v. 11). He will come again to vanquish sin (v. 14). With an eye on each, let’s pursue godly living—by grace.

December 2006

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