Our God and Savior Christ Jesus Overcomes Sin in and Through Us

September 23, 2014 at 8:50 AM 2 comments

Let the grace of God, which has appeared, bringing salvation to us and to all men, effectually instruct us to deny all ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in this present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds, Titus 2:11-14 (NASB)

submitThe above verses represent some mind-boggling truths that are clearly indicative of several things for the Christian, as well as the world itself. We would do well to pause and consider.

We’ll start with the very first word, “Let,” which means to allow something to occur. Paul, the writer of this letter to Titus, is telling him that Christians are to allow God’s graces (which here implies the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ) to do the following:

  • effectually instruct us
  • so we can
    • deny all ungodliness and worldly desires
    • live sensibly
    • righteously
    • godly
  • as we look for the blessed hope (Christ’s return)

Paul has said a mouthful in this one sentence. Paul is telling us to let go of our wants, our desires, our endeavoring to control our own lives and destiny. We should willingly set these things aside asking and expecting God in Christ to direct our steps for His glory. Paul announces that this should become absolutely clear in the way we live our lives.

By denying all (not some) ungodliness, we are conforming ourselves to the pattern that our Lord lived while here on earth. It is very difficult to deny ungodliness, so how do we do it? There is only one way and that is through allowing Him to control our thoughts, which translate into deeds.

When we come to that place where we are tempted to do something we know to be ungodly, the only remedy is to submit ourselves to Him for His strength, for His ability to overcome that sin. We, in and of ourselves, cannot do this. Oh sure, we can grit our teeth and force our way through a situation but that is often done in our own strength. God wants us to allow God’s power within us (through the indwelling Holy Spirit) to act on our behalf. This will often require a response from us. Just as Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife, we also must deliberately choose to do what brings God glory and He will supply the strength to do it.

Living sensibly is an interesting phrase. It means to use common sense and logic to determine what is right, based on our knowledge of God’s Word. We know we shouldn’t steal, but do we? We know we shouldn’t cheat, but do we? A pure conscience helps us live sensibly because it brings things into clear focus. A Christian who is dependent upon inner strength and power from the indwelling Holy Spirit has the ability to live sensibly and therefore, should.

By denying ungodliness and endeavoring to live sensibly, we will also be living righteously as well as in a godly way. These two go hand in hand. When we submit to Him and allow Him to provide strength to live the right way, it is seen as righteous and godly living.

What is it that prompts this type of living? The continued thought of Jesus’ return to earth. As we submit to Him, allowing Him to conform us to His personality, we begin to think of His return and what life will be like them. We come to yearn for it, while we continue to work, bringing the gospel to those who have never heard it or maybe they’ve heard it but need to hear it again. If you knew Jesus was coming back soon (and He is), how would you change your life? What might you do differently?

The favorite part of these verses for me is found in this section:

…the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus

I’ve added emphasis to that last section because here, Paul – clearly – announces that Jesus Christ is God. People can debate that if they want to do so. Some discount Paul’s letters by being what are called “red-letter Christians,” only reading the words of Jesus and that’s it. For them, Paul means nothing. Some accuse Paul of changing authentic Christianity. On the other extreme, I personally know people who believe that Paul – after he was saved on the road to Damascus – became sinless. There is nothing I can see in Scripture that supports that am I am aware of the proof texts those folks use to arrive at their opinion.

Jesus Christ IS God. He provided Himself as a substitutionary atonement for us. In doing so, He provided salvation and when we receive His salvation, He indwells us via the Holy Spirit and we become “partakers of the divine” as Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:4. We ourselves are not gods, but through His divine power, we can overcome sin, unrighteousness, and ungodliness.

It is not “our” divine nature. It is God’s divine nature that He extends to us so that we might live righteously in this life until He perfects us in the next life.

God wants us to realize that we have no power in and of ourselves to live the way He wants us to live. However, He doesn’t say “do it!” but provides the way for us to accomplish it. That way is through submission to Him and His will, which allows His divine nature through the indwelling Holy Spirit to work on our behalf. The result is a life of godliness, righteousness, and glorifying Him.

The actual “work” for the Christian is in the very first step. That first step is found in one word from Paul: LET.

Entry filed under: rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming.

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2 Comments

  • 1. God Real  |  October 13, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    I feel like I have been exposed a lot lately to the sad fact that we limit the scope of our relationship with a “higher power” by basing it on man (and/or woman). I heard a sermon not too long ago about the story of the golden calf. For those who haven’t heard of it, it can be found in Exodus 32. As a synopsis, the story tells of Moses ascending a mountain to receive the infamous Ten Commandments from God and in the meantime, the Israelites lost hope and therefore forced the next in command to construct an idol or another god for them to worship. The lesson taught in the sermon was about how we set ourselves up for failure because we base our faith on another man and when that man leaves, fails, or otherwise disappoints us, our hope and faith follows suit.

    • 2. modres  |  October 14, 2014 at 7:44 AM

      I agree that our eyes should always be on Christ. Everyone falls since no one is perfect in this life. While we can endeavor to be like Christ (with the indwelling power of God’s Holy Spirit), we will still unfortunately fall in this life at times. The only One who never fails is Jesus and there is no better reason to put our faith only in Him.


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