***Titus 2:11-12. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing…
***Titus 2:11-12. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.***
Believers must turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We live in an evil world where many totally reject God’s influence in any area of life. Christians must renounce that attitude. Sinful pleasures are desires for the pleasures and activities of this world (1 John 2:16). Believers must replace those desires with positive characteristics: self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God. The motivation for righteous living is looking forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. We can look forward to Christ’s wonderful return with eager expectation and hope. Our hope makes us live each day ready morally and ethically to serve him.
The “great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,” whose return believers await, is the same Jesus Christ who came to earth and died for our sins. Christ’s act of sacrifice is summed up in the words gave his life. It indicates that he gave himself voluntarily. It was an act of love for us. He wanted to free us from every kind of sin. Christ paid the ultimate price. He removed our bondage to sin that made us lawless rebels. Christ has accomplished the work required to cleanse those whom he died to save (see 1 John 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-14). This purification is a process, often called “sanctification.” We are not only free from the sentence of death for our sin, but we are also purified from sin’s influence as we grow in Christ. His redemption took care of the past; his purification makes the present and future an exciting and challenging prospect.
Through his redemption, God made us his very own people. The basis of the covenant was God’s choosing this people and purifying them to be set apart for his special use. As people who are cleansed and restored and who understand the awesome price paid on our behalf, we should thank God. We should also live according to God’s will, totally committed to doing what is right. Then, when Christ returns, he will find us ready, waiting, and doing good works.
The power to live as a Christian comes from the Holy Spirit. Because Christ died and rescued us from sin, we are free from sin’s control. God gives us the power and understanding to live according to his will and to do good. Then we will look forward to Christ’s wonderful return with eager expectation and hope.
Christ’s freeing us from sin opens the way for him to purify us. He freed us from sin (redeemed us) by purchasing our release from the captivity of sin with a ransom (see Mark 10:45 for more on Christ as our ransom). We are not only free from the sentence of death for our sin, but we are also purified from sin’s influence as we grow in Christ.
A great cause of confusion today concerns the place of the Mosaic Law in the New Testament believer’s life. While this short study cannot begin to cover all the issues involved, it is my hope that it will shed some light and remove some of the confusion.
One of the profound emphases of the New Testament, especially the epistles of Paul, is that Christians are no longer under the rule of the Mosaic Law. This truth is stated in no uncertain terms and in various ways (see Rom. 6:14; 7:1-14; Gal. 3:10-13, 24-25; 4:21; 5:1, 13; 2 Cor. 3:7-18), but in spite of this, there have always been those who insist that the Mosaic Law, at least the Ten Commandments, are still in force for the Christian. In regard to the relation of Christian ethics to the Mosaic Law, Luck writes:
There are Christian teachers of repute who consider the Mosaic Law to be the present-day rule of life for the Christian. A view not infrequently found among earnest, orthodox believers is that although we are not saved by the law, once we have been justified by faith, then the Mosaic Law becomes our rule of life. Those holding such a view generally make a sharp division of the Mosaic Law into two parts, which they distinguish as the moral and the ceremonial. The ceremonial portion they consider as having found its fulfillment in Christ at His first advent, and thus as having now passed away. But the moral portion of the Mosaic Law, they say, is still in force as the believer’s rule of life. The treatment given to Christian ethics by some highly respected authors is indeed but little more than an exposition of the Decalogue.
It seems exceedingly strange that Bible-believing Christians should advocate such a view, when the New Testament makes it abundantly clear that the believer in Christ is not any longer under the Mosaic Law in its entirety… Indeed after having been delivered from the law, to deliberately place ourselves once again under its [control] is said to be “falling from grace.”
But let it be immediately understood that this does not mean to say that we should necessarily behave in a manner just opposite to what the Mosaic law commands—that we should kill, steal, bear false witness, etc. Long before the law was given through Moses, it was utterly wrong to do such evil things.
By contrast, the age in which we live, the church age, has often and rightly been called the age of grace. This is not because God’s grace has not been manifested in other ages, but because in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ we have the ultimate manifestation of God’s grace.
Grace becomes an absolutely inseparable part of the believer’s life in Christ. In the coming of Christ and His death on the cross, the Mosaic Law as a rule of life was terminated. The believer is now to live in the liberty and power of God’s grace by the Spirit, not the rule of law. This new liberty ***must never be used*** as an occasion to indulge the flesh or sinful appetites (Gal. 5:13) ***nor***does it mean the Christian has no moral law or imperatives on his life, but simply that he or she is to ***live righteously by a new source of life ***as asserted in ***Romans 8***.