“FOR THE GRACE OF GOD that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world: looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13 KJV).
These three verses contain one of the neglected truths of the Bible. Probably no other passage in all of God’s Word so completely summarizes the subject of Christian conduct. It does seem strange that this truth should be so neglected in a day when emphasis is placed on “practical Christianity” rather than doctrine. Unfortunately much so-called practical Christianity is not the kind spoken of in these verses.
Three aspects of conduct are here mentioned.
First, true Christian living denies ungodliness and worldly lusts. All things done apart from God, and the desire for the pleasures of this world as such, are thereby excluded.
Second, life should be lived godly, soberly, and righteously in the present world.
Third, the whole life should be lived in view of and with an expectation of the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ.
Any “practical Christianity” that does not comprise these three conditions is not true Christian conduct. Present emphasis on “practical Christianity” seems to completely lack even mention of these three things as essential to Christian conduct….
Great as is the lack of emphasis upon that which constitutes true Christian conduct, there is even greater lack of emphasis upon that which teaches a believer how to live the true Christian life. The truth that the grace of God, the very same grace which brings salvation, also teaches those who are saved how to live pleasing unto God, seems to have been entirely overlooked by many. One who says, “I believe in grace, but I do not think it should be emphasized too much because that leads to careless living,” has failed to understand God’s work of grace on behalf of all He by grace has saved from wrath.
Even among those who accept grace as the only means of salvation, exclusive of any works or merit on the part of man, there is regrettable neglect of emphasis on the fact that the spiritual life can be sustained, developed, and brought to perfection only by the operation of the same grace. Growth in spiritual life comes only by the grace of God. Peter admonished, “grow in grace” (II Peter 3:18).
There is great need for a fuller presentation of grace; not only of the truth that salvation from condemnation is entirely of grace, but even more of the truth that the very same grace which brings salvation also teaches the saved how to live “godly in this present world.”
Part 1 of 3
Excerpt from Disciplined by Grace, Chicago: Moody Press. chapter 1, pp 5,6.