Sermon Follow Up - Week 51, 2022December 18, 2022 Sermon Application
TWO GUIDING QUESTIONS DURING THIS SERMON SERIES
Are you growing in the knowledge of God?
Are you growing in loving God and loving people?
“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 ESV)
How should the Christian live in this world? In the private moments, in the mundane moments, in the quiet moments, in the loud moments, in the “at church” moments, in the suffering moments, in the moments of temptation, in the sad moments, in the happy moments? If you profess to be a follower of Jesus, what is it that motivates you day after day?
THE GRACE OF GOD HAS APPEARED.
The grace of God that has appeared teaches us that if you have believed on and trusted in Jesus to forgive you through faith, you are right with God – your sins…all of them both those sins you’ve committed and those things you should have done but failed to do, have been atoned. Paid for. Your sins have been washed away. They are thrown as far as the east is from the west. And not only that, who is it that actually “performed” well for you? Does not the gospel of grace tell us that Jesus lived a perfect life in my place? And His righteousness…every last bit of it was transferred to me as one who has entrusted my all to him.
That is where our heart must run. When we start to wonder if we’re going to make it, if this life is too difficult, if you just can’t seem to get a grip on things… God is going to take care of us, he has reached out to us. He sent His Son, Jesus as our Savior to trust in completely. This is our life in Christ.
THE GRACE OF GOD TRAINS US
The grace of God trains us to turn away from godlessness and put on godliness. We renounce our own sin and tendency to follow the way of the world in its ungodliness. Not just the actions of unrighteousness, but the lack of godliness or godward thinking in a life. You abandon a life that is, practically speaking, a life that really doesn’t include God all that much, if at all. And you also turn away from the passions, the longings, and lusts that the world is inundated by. The grace of God that has appeared trains us to do this.
The grace of God trains us to turn away from the passions of this world and to love one another, to care for our families, to be self-controlled in our thought life and in our actions, to care graciously and kindly with our kids, with our spouse, to speak with gentleness, being slow to anger, abounding in every good work, etc… – not as a duty or out of some sort of guilt or pressure but because we’ve been freed from sin, and it has become a privilege to live for Christ. This is our life in Christ.
THE GRACE OF GOD WILL TRIUMPH
The grace of God will ultimately accomplish the goal of the training. Grace will prevail and we will become all that God intends for us to be when Jesus appears again at his second advent – the second coming. We know that the grace of God has appeared in the past in the person of Jesus who gave himself on the cross. And we know the grace of God is also with us in the present, training us to renounce ungodliness and live a certain way. But that's never completed in this life. All of that is just temporary. There's always something wrong with it, in this present age. But the day is coming, when all the sin will be removed and the training in godliness will be complete. This is our life in Christ.
Delighting in your life in Christ is the only reality that will rightly motivate you to a Godward life.
- Look to Christ - consider the grace of God repeatedly. Read, sing, meditate on the grace of God. Consider reading "The Gospel for Real Life," by Jerry Bridges.
- Ask yourself if you grieved over your sin. Do you seek to live a holy life? if you find yourself apathetic towards sin, your lack of a godward life, if you're not striving for holiness and godliness, that's a sign that you don't really understand this grace of God that has appeared. If this is you...consider the previous point.
- When the reality falls short of the ideal, may we remember that we have a Savior who has appeared. He is no figment of our imagination. He is our Savior. He will save us and keep us and be with us and one day present us to the Father blameless with great joy. We will get there by his grace. May we rest in this glorious truth and live this life compelled by the grace of God, delighting in our life that is found in Christ.
All believers, by virtue of their union with Christ, are progressively transformed into his image. Although the ruling power of sin in our lives has been broken, remnants of corruption remain in our hearts that we will fight throughout our lives. This lifelong process of growth takes place as the Spirit empowers us to abide in Christ and strive for holiness in every area of life. Resting in Christ’s finished work never renders our effort unnecessary but rather enables the joyful pursuit of loving and pleasing God. Compelled by grace, believers grow in the knowledge of God, obey Christ’s commands, walk by the Spirit, mortify sin, and pursue God’s priorities and purposes. Although such actions are not the ground of our salvation, they demonstrate the authenticity of our salvation and are a means by which God keeps us faithful to the end. Among the many public and private means of grace, the Word of God, prayer, and fellowship are primary instruments of our sanctification, fostering communion with God and training us together to glorify him, love others, and testify to Christ in the world
Living the Christian life involves longing and waiting for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Although believers are new creations in Christ and presently enjoy the blessings of his resurrection power, their sanctification remains partial and incomplete in this life. Furthermore, they continue to live in mortal bodies in a creation subject to futility, opposed by the world, the flesh, and the devil. The Word of God assures us that we are his beloved children, yet such an assurance does not remove the reality of suffering, sorrow, and persecution in this present age. The gospel enables us to rejoice in the midst of tribulations, assured that his purposes are working for our good even in circumstances we do not understand. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, we endure in faith and abound in hope, confident that a day is fast approaching when sin and sorrow will be no more.
Sovereign Grace Churches Statement of Faith, Section 11