“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to everyone. It instructs us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”
The big message today is that the presence of grace does not mean the absence of standards. The Lord gives us the powerful combination of high standards + gracious, unconditional love.
Unfortunately, many Christians want the grace and unconditional love the Lord offers, but neglect His high standards. Worse, some view the two areas as contradictory. The truth is they are inseparable.
A related question that Christians often ask: Since we are saved by grace and called to live by faith, does performance matter? The answer to the question is yes. Note that the Titus passage above tells us that grace teaches us to live our life in obedience to God’s standards.
To emphasize the importance of grace + standards, the Titus passage goes on to say that being trained by grace also means that the followers of Jesus are “… 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.” (Titus 2.13-14)
Scripture is crystal clear: We are saved by grace through faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2.8-9).
Scripture is equally clear that because of the Lord’s grace in our lives, we should do good works. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2.10)
Again, the presence of grace does not mean the absence of standards.
The Lord is calling.