The Moral Power of the Grace of God

Bible Book: Titus  2 : 11-15
Subject: Grace, Power of; Morality; Christian Living
Series: The Moral Power of the Grace of God
[Editor's Note: The Moral Power of the Grace of God by Johnny Hunt is a three-part series. All three messages are listed within www.pastorlife.com as one document to make it easier for the reader to see them as a single unit or complete whole. A note exists within this document at each separation point for the three sections.]

Part One of The Moral Power of the Grace of God

Introduction

Simply defined, theology is the study of God; who He is and what He does. For many Christians theology is somewhat mysterious; it suggests ideas and concepts that are deep, profound, and often confusing.

The doctrines that comprise theology basically consist of statements about God's character and will in human history. The purpose of theological study should be to increase our knowledge of God. However, the ultimate goal of increasing our knowledge of God should be Christian lives characterized by growth in obedience to God's revealed will.

In the passage we are studying, Paul clearly connected the practical, behavioral exhortations in 2:210 with the profound theological statement of 2:11-15. For instance, Paul's specific behavioral exhortations are clearly referred to as "what is in accord with sound doctrine." In other words, Paul's use of "for" in v.11 indicates the logical connection between the practical/behavioral exhortations and his forthcoming theological statements.

The major truth I desire to convey today is the fact (absolute fact) that God's Grace Makes a difference, unlike anything else, as it pertains to my life; morally, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, etc.

It is God's glorious plan to demonstrate His saving power through His saved people. The sovereign purpose of all exhortations to holy living in Scripture is to honor and glorify God through the righteous living of His people, leading to the salvation of more sinners.

I. The Grace of God (Titus 2:11)

 God's grace toward us is based solely on His love and our total inability to meet God's standards. God's grace is a gift we do not deserve and cannot earn. Without God's grace, there can be no salvation since grace is fundamental to salvation (Ephesians 2:4-9).

God's grace is His unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor toward wicked, unworthy sinners, by which He delivers them from condemnation and death. The Grace of God is more than a divine attribute; it is a divine person, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is not only God incarnate but grace incarnate. He Himself personifies and expresses the grace of God.

Concerning Grace, note:

A. It's Appearing "has appeared"

It has come to light, especially that of becoming manifest in a way that previously was unseen. Jesus brought God's saving purpose out of the shadows, as it were, into full light.

2 Timothy 1:8-10 "Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,"

"Of all times it is the turning point, of all love it is the highest point, of all worship it is the central point, of all salvation it is the starting point." Erich Sauer

Titus 3:4-5: "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,"

Paul gave the same testimony to Rome.

Romans 2:4: "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?"

Video - Dr. J.C. Hines

Listen to the testimony of Simeon at Jesus' birth.

Luke 2:25-32: "And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

"Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation. Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."

1. The Source of Grace Jesus Christ

John 1:14: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

2. The Subject of Grace

"bringing salvation" - refers to deliverance from sin and its consequences (spiritual death and separation from God) and from its penalty (eternal damnation)

Romans 6:23 "The wages of sin is death."

John 8:24: "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

Salvation sums up the longing of God that is manifested in His redemptive work, because it denotes deliverance, rescue, and release from sin.

Jesus Christ does not only deliver us from spiritual death but also many times from physical danger.

Examples:

Daniel in the lion’s den.

Disciples on the Sea Galilea

God's Grace is not only powerful, but active.

--It sustains in times of need.

2 Corinthians 12:9: "And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

--It provides strength

1 Corinthians 15:10: "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."

--It provides thanksgiving and glory to God.

2 Corinthians 4:15: "For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God."

--It affects our conversations.

Colossians 4:6: "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one."

--It enables believers to live holy and godly lives.

2 Corinthians 4:12: "So then death is working in us, but life in you."

3. The Scope of Grace "all men"

ESV reads, "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people."

This refers to universal salvation; 1 Timothy 4:10, "who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe."

In His atoning death, Christ did not save all men spiritually but provided the means of salvation to all men who would be saved.

In His matchless grace, God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4)

2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

"When God calls on all sinners to believe, He does not command them to believe that they are divinely chosen or that Christ died especially for them. He commands them to believe that Jesus Christ died for all sinners in the world. He does not offer salvation to a person either as elect or not elect but simply as a sinner."--John Mac Arthur

God does not deterministically elect some men to salvation and others to damnation.

Scripture makes equally clear that those who do not believe are responsible and guilty for their rejection of Christ.

Men are not condemned because God has not chosen them but because they have not chosen Him.

John 5:24: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life."

John 5:40: "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life."

It is not the extent of atonement that excludes some people from salvation.

1 John 2:2: "And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world."

Hebrews 2:9 teaches that "Jesus tasted death for everyone."

The problem, therefore, is not in the sufficiency or the scope of God's grace.

1 Timothy 2:5-6: "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,"

Without any exception, God calls all men to faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, whose atoning sacrifice was more than sufficient to cover every sin that has been or ever will be committed.

But not all men trust in God's gracious and sufficient provision of salvation. That is always the reason, and the only reason that Scripture gives for a person's not being saved.

It might be said that Christ's atonement is sufficient for the whole world but is efficient only for those who believe.

God calls His people, those who are already saved, to demonstrate His saving power in their lives and thereby show Him to be a loving God, to glorify Him and to draw others to Him.

B. Its' Teaching "teaching us that"

Instructing; carries the meaning of teaching, training, discipling, educating, and maturing. The grace of God in Jesus Christ is a teacher, a guide, and a counselor. When we are saved, we immediately come under the tutelage of God through the Holy Spirit and His word.

1 Corinthians 2:12-13, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual."

PART TWO of The Moral Power of the Grace of God

Introduction

Last week we dealt with The Grace of God. As we continue along this theme, the Bible teaches that a person who is divinely born again is no longer under the pervasive dominion of sin and of Satan. He has a radical new nature and is called and enabled to reflect that new nature in a radically new way of living. When a person is genuinely saved, truly converted, and given new life in Jesus Christ, there is transformation, not only of nature but of living. Because of the Christian's new nature (disposition) and the indwelling Holy Spirit, he simply cannot continue to live in unmitigated sin, bereft of any outward evidence of his new, holy, and righteous nature and of the presence of Christ's own Holy Spirit within him.

Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

"By His divine grace, Jesus Christ completely reprograms our computers, as it were. He throws away the old disks and deletes the previous programs and files, all of which were permeated with errors and destructive 'viruses' and graciously replaces them with His own divine truth and righteousness."

II. The Goal of Grace  (Titus 2:12)

"teaching" - instructing, training, disciplining, educating, nurturing, or chastisement.

A. It's Negative Approach to Teaching 12a

"teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust" - grace teaches us to say no. Grace teaches that there must be a conscious, willful repudiation of thoughts, words, and actions that are opposed to true godliness. The verb is present tense, indicating that this is a continuing process. No one ever graduates from the school of God's grace in this life.

Two Great Truths:

Grace teaches by warning us.

Grace teaches by enabling us.

Illustrate:

I attempted to make a deal with Janet about my decision for Christ and the "what if He doesn't change me" issue. (Red Fox Saloon)

"To deny" - carries the idea of a conscious, purposeful action of the will. It means to say no. It is to confess and consciously turn away from that which is sinful and destructive and to move toward that which is good and godly.

Denying Ungodliness

Refers to lack of true reverence for and devotion to God. Ungodliness - noun (asebeia); opposite of godliness; speaks of defiance toward God's person.

There is an adjective used in Hebrews 12:16 that describes Esau that comes from the same family of words. He is referred to as "profane" (Bebelos) - unhallowed; opposite of sacred, godless.

John Phillips, "Profane means there was no sacred enclosure in his life where God could dwell. His body was not the temple of the Holy Spirit."

"The word for 'godless' has an illuminating background. It was used for ground that was profane in contradistinction to ground that was consecrated. The ancient world had its religions into which only the initiated could come. 'Godless' was word for the person who was uninitiated and uninterested in contradistinction to the man who was devout. It was applied to Jews who had become apostates and had forsaken God."-William Barclay

Westcott sums up this word "godless" by saying that it describes the man whose mind recognizes nothing higher than earth, for whom there is nothing sacred, who has no reverence for the unseen.

A "godless" life is a life without any awareness of or interest in God. In its thoughts, aims, and pleasures it is completely earthbound.

He treated spiritual things as being of no account and proved it by selling his birthright for the immediate gratification of appetite.

Esau cared nothing for his birthright

Right to be the family priest

He cared nothing about being in the genealogical tree of Christ.

As for inheriting a double portion of his father's property, he preferred something that was "here and now" rather than waiting until the future for that.

A Major Problem Comes To My Heart from this text: Students raised in Christian home:

Respect for parents Religious in their upbringing

Committed to student choir/student tours Mission trips

Problem: Dr. Jerry Vines said, "He had no place for God in his life" p.218, The Believer's Guide to Hebrews

Back to Esau: Abraham was Grandfather, Isaac was Father, Jacob was Brother He had great light

He had every possible opportunity, as much as any person in his time, of knowing and following God

He knew His Word

He heard His promises

Had seen His miracles

Had fellowship with His people

Yet, with determined willfulness he turned his back on God and the things of God. Denying Wordly Lusts.

1 John 2:15-17: "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."

"The true learning of heaven must begin with the unlearning and laying off of all which stands in the way of the development of the new man."-Van Oosterzee

Speaks of sinful lusts and cravings that characterize the natural man.

Galatians 5:16: "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."

Special Note:

I am not an advocate of sinless perfection.

1 John 3:7-10: "Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever   does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother."

Chrysostom said that "worldly lusts" are things which do not pass over with us into heaven but are dissolved together with this present world.

B. It's Positive Approach to Teaching 12b

We should live:

1. Soberly. Ourselves

Sensibly; carries the basic idea of having a sound mind. This person has control over the issues of life. It suggests the exercise of that self-restraint that governs all passions and desires, enabling the believer to be conformed to the mind of Christ.

Here is grace at work, by the enablement and power of the Holy Spirit, in his redeemed inner person he brings the unredeemed flesh under control. The grace of God teaches us to live self-controlled lives.

2. Righteously. Others

Soberly relates to the divine and continuing change within us. Righteously connects with our changed relationships toward others, both believers and non-believers. Righteously denotes conduct that cannot be condemned.

Thayer - root is right; observing divine and human laws; one who is such as he ought to be. Simply means conduct that cannot be condemned. It requires of us a life of truth in all our dealings.

3. Godly. To God

To be devout; it is used with the verb to live (of manner of life) The old attitude of indifference to God has been replaced by an attitude of supreme devotion to Him; once we had no place for God in our lives, now we are ever conscious of living in His presence and desire to fulfill all our duties toward Him.

Note:

The world instinctively recognizes the contradiction in Christian profession when these characteristics are lacking.

Its Present Place To Be Lived Out

"in this present world" - it is expected of us now; those who receive the instruction (teaching) of the grace of God are enabled to live thus. Therefore, His grace in us becomes a powerful testimony of the saving and transforming power of Jesus Christ.

Conclusion: We are saved in order that God might demonstrate His glorious grace, which produces in us the desire to do what is right and good, thereby giving glory to our Lord Jesus and righteously impacting lives of the non-believers in His name.

Part Three of The Moral Power of the Grace of God

Introduction

The highest and purest motivation for Christian behavior is not based on what we can do for God but rather upon what God has done for us, and yet will do. The teachers on Crete assumed that their religious works earned them God's favor. But Paul was there to teach them that only as we begin to grasp the significance of God's grace can we eagerly do what is pleasing to Him. Paul also reminded believers that they are waiting with hope and that as they attempt, through God's grace to do what is good, Jesus Christ will ultimately bring forth his rule of righteousness at His appearing.

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the "Climax of Redemption and the Culmination of History." The return of Jesus Christ is central in God's Word. We speak much about grace and rightly believe that we are saved by grace through faith. Grace is mentioned 125 times in the New Testament. We speak about repentance and how repentance is necessary if a man is to see God. Repentance is mentioned 70 times in the New Testament. In the New Testament alone, the truth of the appearing of Jesus Christ a second time is mentioned more than 380 times.

The fact that Jesus was born, lived, and died is history. The fact that He will come again is prophecy.

III. The Glory of the Grace of God (Titus 2:13)

Titus 2:13, "Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." New English Version.

In v.11 the text magnifies the appearing of the grace of God, personified in Jesus Christ. In v.13 the text magnifies the appearing of the glory of God, personified in Jesus Christ.

He will be the blazing Shekinah glory of Matthew 17:1-8 that Peter James, and John witnessed.

Matthew 17:2: "and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light."

Matthew 17:5-8: "While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!' And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, 'Arise, and do not be afraid.' When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only."

A. The Expectation

"looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing" Longing and waiting with eager and certain expectation.

Philippians 3:20-21: "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself."

Paul compared this life to our future life in Romans 8:18-25

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."

When Christ returns our salvation will find its completeness.

1 John 3:1-3, "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

B. The Explanation

"the blessed hope and glorious appearing"

The blessed hope is His glorious appearing, or the appearing of glory.

Hope speaks of confident certainty. It is blessed hope, not a fond human wish, but a divinely promised certitude. The hope that is above all other hopes. Hope is not used here subjectively of our attitude of hope, but objectively of the thing hoped for.

Note the truths we should embrace in light of His appearing: Past: First Appearing

2 Timothy 1:10, "but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel"

Future: Second Appearing

2 Timothy 4:1, "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom"

Present: In Light of Both Appearings

1 Timothy 6:14, "that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing"

C. The Exaltation

"of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" - governed by one definite article, which indicates the singularity and identity of God and Savior. Both of the singular pronouns in the following verse ("who" "Himself") refer back to a single person.

In the Old Testament, there are countless references to the Father as great, but in the New Testament that description is used only of God the Son.

Luke 1:32: "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David."

Luke 7:16: "Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, 'A great prophet has risen up among us'; and, 'God has visited His people.'"

Hebrews 13:20: "Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant"

Jesus Christ is God:

John 20:28: "And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'"

Romans 9:5: "of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen."

Hebrews 1:8: "But to the Son He says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;

A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.'"

2 Peter 1:1, "Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ"

The importance of the deity of Jesus Christ, as claimed by Jesus Himself and the Apostles, cannot be ignored. The ultimate significance of this claim for every person is vividly expressed in C.S. Lewis' often-quoted statements taken from his book, Mere Christianity.

"'I am ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.'" That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

IV. The Greatness of His Grace (Titus 2:14)

"Who gave Himself for us"

Gave Himself - an exhaustive act, voluntary in nature For Us - substitutionary; on behalf of, in place of Redeem Us - freed us

A. Negatively

"that He might redeem us" - refers to the releasing of someone held captive, much as a prisoner or a slave, or receipt of a ransom payment

Speaks of Sin's Possession

Romans 6:17, "But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered."

Speaks of Sin's Power

Speaks of Sin's Penalty

Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Speaks of Servant's Position

Romans 6:18-22: "And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life."

We were slaves of sin, but now we are sons of God.

"He might redeem us" - middle voice; to release by paying a ransom price. This is a word that is akin to ransom, which means to loose.

Mark 10:45: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Jesus Christ made the provision that was universal, for Christ died for all men, yet it is actually for those only who accept God's conditions.

Galatians 1:4, "who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father"

Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

Acts 20:28, "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."

"purchased" - middle voice; signifies to gain for oneself.

1 Peter 1:18-19, "knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."

"redeemed" - passive voice; the death of Christ is the means of redemption. "from every lawless deed" - that power which makes us sin

1 Peter 2:11: "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul"

He has redeemed us from that which caused us to rebel against God's laws. The redemption is here viewed as rescuing us from the power of sin.

1 John 3:4: "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." It speaks of that contempt for, and violation of, God's law.

B. Positively

"Purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works."

"purify" - to cleanse; used in a moral sense, from the defilement of sin. Sin not only makes us guilty, but also dirty. This word for purification is also called sanctification, and its goal is to make the believer more like Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:29)

Hebrews 9:11-14, "But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

1 John 1:7: "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."

"for Himself His own special people" - word for special means reserved for, and it was specially  used for that part of the spoils of a battle, or a campaign which the king who had conquered set apart specially for himself. Through the work of Jesus Christ, the Christian becomes fit to be the special possession of God.

1 Peter 2:9: "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light"

Just as we formerly were possessed and enslaved by sin, now we are possessed by and enslaved to Jesus Christ.

"special people" - one's private possession. Hymn says,

"Now I belong to Jesus,

Jesus belongs to me.

Not for the space of time alone

But for eternity."

By character and conduct, we are to reveal the fact that we are not our own but belong wholly to Him. "zealous for good works"

Titus 3:8: "This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men."

Ephesians 2:10: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

Every Christian should not merely be good, but full of burning zeal in doing good.

That believer who eagerly awaits the return of his Lord will endeavor to do his utmost, by good works, to further the cause of his Lord.

These good works are not to be adjunct to our Christian lives, something that we do at our convenience, but are to be a natural, integral, and zealous part of our daily living.

Hebrews 9:14: "how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

Matthew 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

1 Peter 1:12: "To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven - things which angels desire to look into."

We should be eager to do what is good; speaks of the intensity with which Christians should pursue. This passage gives the practical aspect of Christian living. The why, how, what

Why? - The Motivation; "I have been redeemed!"

How? - The Divine Enablement of Grace; educates us What? - The good works of expected behavior

The saving grace of God is also an educating grace and, as a result, I am learning and doing what is good because it is also a sustaining grace.

V. God's Man on Grace (Titus 2:15)

"authority" - refers to something that is in its proper order or place. More to Come...