The Grace of God Trains Us
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 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 2:11-14)
Both times Paul uses the word “appear,” he is referring to Jesus. But instead of writing “Jesus” in verse 11, he writes “grace.” Jesus appeared; grace appeared. Grace and salvation must be linked in our minds in the person and work of Jesus, called here “the glory of our great God and Savior,” “who gave himself for us to redeem us.” This is gospel language.
Notice that one phrase: “The grace of God trains us.” The gospel trains us. How? “Training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age.” The good news of Jesus trains me to renounce how I once lived, and to live in a new way.
The gospel trains me by teaching me that I have been bought with a price, I should therefore honor God with my body. I am trained by the gospel to know that my identity is no longer in what I do, but solely in what Jesus has done for me. The gospel trains me that I don’t need the worldly passions I once clung to in order to have meaning in my life. The gospel trains me that I have been accepted, and it is not out of fear of rejection that I need to obey, but because God has showered me with love and accepted me in Jesus.
The gospel tells me that I belong to God, because he has bought me with the blood of the eternal Son of God. It would literally be impossible for God to have shown me more love than he did in Jesus—the gospel is God’s fullest picture of his love for me.
We live now, drawing on this well of love. We don’t have to prove our love for God, for he has already proved his to us.
This is what I need most today. And it will be what I need most tomorrow.