Friday, May 21, 2010

How Good Works Promote Church Order: Titus 2:11-15

Titus 2:11-15

Theme: Promote Church Order

5) By maintaining good works (2 - 3)

The grace of God teaches us not only to deny ungodliness, but to live godly lives. Verses 11-15 show why salvation by grace should result in good deeds. 

Christ redeemed us "from" sin (14). Christ's death frees the believer not only from sin's  enalty, but also from it's power in daily life, and ultimately, from its very presence. 

First, Christ's death frees the believer from the penalty of sin. The death of Christ paid the debt of our sin, satisfying God's righteous demands against it (Rom. 3:21ff.; 1 Joh. 2:2). When a person trusts Christ, the value of this payment is applied to his account (2 Cor. 5:21), and God declares him "righteous". This is called "justification", and frees believers "from" the penalty of sin: eternal hell (2 Thess. 1:7-10). 

Second, Christ's death and resurrection frees the believer from the power of sin in his daily life (Romans 6 - 8a). The fallen human nature ("flesh") is hostile towards God, and is not capable of subjecting itself to God's will (Rom. 8:6-8). As such, the Law (God's declared will), actually compels our sin nature (which every believer retains until glory in heaven) to rebel (Rom. 7:7-25). This proves we are unable to please God in the strength of our flesh, deserve the death penalty, and constitutes "slavery" to sin. 

Christ, however, died to sin, and rose to newness of life (Rom. 6:1-23). Since the Holy Spirit places the believer into this work of Christ, he too has died with Christ, to sin, and been raised with Him to newness of life. This frees the believer from obligation to his sin nature and the Law,  and empowers him to serve God. As the believer knows his position in Christ, and counts it to be true, he may yield (by the power of the indwelling Spirit) his members as instruments of righteousness to God, rather than sin (Rom. 6:1-23). 

In our position before God, sanctification occurs the moment we believe, since we are placed "in Christ", cleansed of all sin, and imputed with His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21; cf. Eph. 1). In our daily practice, however, we become more and more devoted to God, as we yield to Him by the power of the Holy Spirit. This position and practice is called "sanctification" (consecration to God, separation from sin).  

Christ owns us. The word "redeem" implies that Christ has bought us not only "from" the slave market of sin, but also "for Himself" (Tit. 2:14). We are now "His own possession", being bought with the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 6:18-20; Heb. 9:12 1 Pet. 1:18-19). As such, He desires His people to be holy, as He himself is, and as a husband desires his wife to be pure (Eph. 5:25-27). 

Christ will return for us (13). Currently, the believer retains his fallen nature, and groans in the expectation that Christ will deliver him from it (Rom. 8). When Christ raptures the church, both dead and living believers will receive a new, immortal, glorious, sin-free body and spend eternity with Christ (1 Cor. 15). The hope of Christ's appearing should motivate believers to "purify themselves" (Tit. 1:1-2; cf. 1 Pet. 1; 1John 3:3). 
 
Romans 8:30 indicates that God's scope of salvation, for every believer, will include deliverance not only from the penalty of his sin (Justification), but also from the power of sin in his daily life (sanctification), and ultimately from the very presence of his sin nature in glory (glorification). This is all accomplished by grace, through faith in the death and resurrection of Christ, as the believer yields himself to God's will. Thus, a true knowledge of the grace of God (cf. Tit. 1:1-2) teaches us to deny worldly lusts, and maintain good works.

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The Gospel


Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).

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