We commence this rocky but essential journey of checking our lifestyles proper for the brave hearted and those who want to maximise their lives for the here and now and for eternity too. For we shall all have to one day account for our works and how we have conducted the lives God has given to each one of us – For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
All we are seeking to do in this exercise is pave the way in our individual lives to accessing more of the grace God has made available for our essential benefit – Titus 2:11 – 12
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,
The grace of God is not something that is surplus to requirement but an absolute necessity both for salvation and upright and godly living. It is what God deemed necessary and supplying it to us cost the life of His one and only son. We are saved by this grace alone (Ephesians 2:8 – 9) and it is this grace which also plays a vital role in instructing and enabling our upright and godly living. Just as grace is essential for our salvation – without which it would be unthinkable! – so too is the upright and godly living God expects from us once saved unthinkable without it.
God expects us to live holy and righteous lives, without any association, condoning of or excusing sin in any shape or form and in any scenario or situation – be it in ourselves or in others. Titus 2:11 – 12 makes it absolutely clear that God has supplied the necessary means by which we are to grow into upright, righteous and self-controlled lives. In addition, a host of other scripture references corroborate and affirm this truth. For instance, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, Hebrews 12:14, 1 Peter 1:14 – 16 and 1 John 3:9. We are expected by God, who “…has not called us for impurity, but in holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7) and not be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance…” (1 Peter 1:14), to take a firm and uncompromising stand against sin and walk in holiness which, the grace He has unleashed through His Son (John 1:17), makes possible in our lives. We may not be there or got it all together in our lives right now but that’s exactly what grace does – train and enable us in the practice of Holy living.
As the word of God unequivocally declares in Titus 2:11 – 12 that the grace of God has already appeared, the question then is, how do we access and avail ourselves of this amazing grace?
First, we need to realise that, as God has made everything possible for grace to be plentifully available in our lives and not be in any short supply, the responsibility and onus is upon us to access grace for our training in holiness. Hebrew 12:15 speaks to us directly, placing the burden of responsibility to access and be found with sufficient supplies of it on each one of us – Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God… It is up to us not to fall short of this grace He has made available.
God is the source of all grace. In 1 Peter 5:10 He is described as “the God of all grace” while in Hebrews 4:16 the writer to the Hebrews labels His throne as “the throne of grace.” As we draw closer to Him through the many different and varied platforms prescribed by Him and made available to us, we come to access grace freely and profusely. In drawing closer to God through these avenues He has made available and open for our access, we receive much needed grace for our lives. It is in ensuring that we are continuously plugged into and connected to the Source of all grace that we are guaranteed an unending supply of this grace in our lives enabling us to walk on the highway of Holiness.
We need to be constantly “switched on” to grace in our lives and never allow ourselves to be short of it. When we are, we become an easy target for the enemy and fall readily into sin having lost our capacity to resist it and worldly passion. In the next blog we shall discover how we do that through the four principal avenues God has provided for us to access His grace.