Grace Grows Us Up
Read: Titus 2:11-14
Not only is it grace that brings us into a relationship with God, it is grace that grows us up in our life with God as well. The Christian life is, from beginning to end, all of grace. Grace brings us in. Grace grows us up. And grace takes us home. It’s all of grace.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that grace gets us in the door with God, but then it’s up to us to earn our keep. We trust in grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for our acceptance before God, but then rely on ourselves to maintain acceptability with God. But that never works. The same grace that gets us started will lead us home if we let it run its course.
Notice in today’s passage that the same grace bringing salvation for all people also trains us to avoid ungodliness and live godly lives of purity and good works! We don’t graduate from grace. The whole of our salvation from beginning to end is by grace through faith in Christ. We need the Gospel every day of our lives!
So how does grace change us into people of godliness? Simply put, grace changes
our hearts which then changes our behaviors. Grace is an inside job. Think about it: When we realize how deeply sinful we are, then experience the life-changing grace and forgiveness and love of God, it marks us deeply on the inside. Grace sweeps us off our feet. We’re not our own anymore. We’re “a people for his own possession” (1 Peter 2:9), and we long to please the One who has set His pleasure upon us. We want to give our lives in love for the One who, in love, gave His life for us! Grace wins our hearts for God. And grace turns us good.
It’s important to realize that grace is not opposed to effort, it’s opposed to earning. Walking in holiness takes effort because our ungodly habits run deep. It’s going to take real effort to learn to walk by the Spirit in the unforced rhythms of grace. But we must not fall into the trap of earning. We never earn anything when it comes to God. It’s all grace from start to finish.
Your Journey Reflection Questions:
How has the grace of God changed your heart?
How has the grace of God changed your actions?
In your own words, what’s the difference between earning and effort?
In light of what you’ve learned today, what is your next step?