Friday, November 21, 2003

The Foundation of Growing in Grace and Sanctification

" 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

Some months ago one of the Associate Pastors at our current church preached on Titus 2. As he was talking about verses 11 – 14, it hit me that in our former church they would have the passage read, “For the law of God has appeared teaching us to deny ungodliness….” and so on. Paul, of course, says it is the GRACE of God that has appeared bringing us salvation, AND teaching us to deny ungodliness…” and etc… The immediate application from Paul’s words is that it is a focus on the grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord that will lead us as Christian believers to live holy lives.

The same point is made in Hebrews 12:1-3. We are not exhorted in that passage to fix our eyes primarily on law and duty. Unfortunately the result of that kind of focus produces the same thing it produced in the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day. But if we want to grow in grace and holiness, it will be by "...fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith,". The Bible clearly teaches that holiness comes not from primarily focusing on law and duty, but from focus on the grace and person of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we focus on Him, responding to His love and grace, growth and maturity is nurtured. As the law cannot save us, neither can it sanctify us. Only Christ can save and sanctify.

~The Billy Goat~

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