Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Workings of God’s Grace

Temple Baptist Church - 2-1-2015
Titus 2:11-12


A.  Before I look at the practical aspects of grace, I do want to take a short look at saving grace because of the natural man’s misunderstanding of this wonderful doctrine.  Saving Grace (Positional Grace) is both available and eternal.  Verse 11 speaks of this saving or positional grace.

1.  Saving Grace is available to ALL.  “hath appeared to ALL men” 

a)  Now the question may arise: “Preacher, why do you make so much out of the heretical teaching of Calvinism?”  Because it is rampant; because it is unbiblical; because it is damnable; because if puts our God in a terrible light! 

b)  God loves the world which encompasses all of mankind.  God does not love a select few and hate the rest.  Christ died for the sins of the whole world which is all mankind.  That is not limited atonement.  God is not willing that any perish but that all come to repentance.  I will continue to fight Calvinism because it is heretical!

2.  Living Grace (Practical Grace) is both available and abundant. 

a)  Romans 5:20 speaks of the Abounding Grace of God. 

b)  1 Peter 4:10 speaks of the Manifold Grace of God.

c)    2 Corinthians 12:9 speaks of the Sufficient Grace of God.

B.  The word “for” in verse 11 ties these verses back to the context of verses 1-10. 

1.  God gives the aged men the grace of God to live godly examples before the church.  The grace of God to be faithful before the people of the church.

2.  God gives the aged women the grace of God to live godly lives as examples so that they can teach the younger women. 

3.  God gives the young men the grace of God to suppress their self-centeredness and passions in order to be examples to their families and be a vital part of the work of the local church. 

4.  God gives the servant the grace of God to work hard at a job he does not like for a boss he cannot stand!  If you like your job, you can keep it.  If you like your boss you can keep him.

C.  In light of the context, how does the grace of God that bringeth salvation “appear” unto all men? 

1.  Notice the word “appeared.”  Not the word “hear.”  Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  How can they hear without a preacher and how can he preach except he be sent. 

2.  “Appeared” is the driving force of God’s saving grace!  “The grace of God that bringeth salvation” is shown in these verses because grace not only saved us old sinners, but it also teaches and changes our lives.  That biblical saving grace “appears” to those around us.  We are the “witnesses” spoken of in Acts 1:8!  A man once said, “A life lived is worth a thousand sermons preached.”  I totally agree.  Too many people have been turned off by the hypocritical preaching or the witnessing of people whose lives to not reflect conformity to either God or the bible!

D.  God’s saving grace teaches us two things that can be broken down into many different areas but I want to make this message simple tonight:  1)  to Abstain    2)  to Adhere.

1.  To Abstain!  To abstain from the lusts of the world.  It is the grace of God that helps His children to live lives separate from this present, evil world.  The word “denying” has more than one use. 

a.  “Denying” means to refuse or to reject.  1 Thessalonians 5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

1 Peter 2:11  Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;  (Abstain: to hold oneself off or to refrain.  This tells me that these are not only temptations but they are strong ones!  Have you ever had to restrain a man or woman who was trying to do something destructive or hurt someone else?  I have worked as a “bouncer.”  I am not proud of the fact nor am I advocating sinfulness but I have had to help physically restrain people who were inebriated and out of their right minds.  It is hard and dangerous work.  We have to restrain our flesh because it loves sin!  Saving grace teaches restraint!)

b.  “Denying: means to contradict or to speak out against!  Isaiah 58:1  Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

Titus 2:15  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.  (I will deal with this verse later because I am preaching through the Book of Titus but we are not to be silent.  There is a concentrated effort in these last day to keep God’s people quiet, both in and outside of the local church!)

2.  To Adhere!  To adhere to the clear teachings of the bible!  One of the marks of the end time church is that of forsaking the faith “once delivered.”  There was a time when the bible was “right” and the bible was “followed.”  People of our day no longer try to adhere to the bible; they try to make the bible adhere to their personal lifestyle.  I want to look at two ways that the bible becomes personal to each believer in such a way as to change our lifestyle in a biblical manner.  I want to take just one portion of scripture out of the Book of Hebrews to make my point.  I will use these verses to show two necessities of the believer if he/she is to adhere to the Word of God.  There are 5 warning sections in Hebrews and Hebrews 5:11-14 is one of them.

a.  To adhere to the teachings of the bible through practical preaching and teaching.  Hebrews 5:11-12  Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.  (12)  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  (Todays churches and pulpits are the “Happy Cows” of religious people.  Most of you are familiar with the “Happy Cow Creamery” here in the upstate.  A place where you can go buy milk and milk products so close to the utter that you can utterly smell cows while in the parking lot.  They feed, milk, process, and sell in the same building!  The mile travels only 48 feet from the utter to utterly delicious!  I love it but I cannot live on milk alone, not matter how good and good for me it is.)

Hebrews 13:22  And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.  (Suffer means to allow, not to suffer through the service!  How do you suffer the word of exhortation?  By adhering to it!  One of the best ways to silence the pulpit is to hear and reject its teaching.  Eventually, the pastor will become silent on the subject because he knows that no one wants to hear it anymore so he just “moves on.”  If it is God’s Word, adhere to it!)

b.  To adhere to the teachings of the bible in personal study. Hebrews 5:13-14  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  (14)  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  (Babes have to be fed because they cannot feed themselves.  We have a lot of new babies in the church and that is a blessing.  Moms have to, on occasion, take them out to be fed and pampered.  Moms, learn to feed your babies, as much as possible, before, between, and after services.  If they are not hungry, feed them anyway!  I have watched my mother wake my little sister up and make her eat!  You ladies that naturally feed your babies understand why and it is none of the rest of you people’s business.  Spiritual babes are to grow up and learn to eat.  I do not want you moms taking your teenage youngins out to be fed during church!  People no longer pick up the bible and study it for themselves while asking the Lord to feed them from His word.  Read it, study it, meditate upon it, and adhere to it!)

Conclusion:  The grace of God that saved you and me will always be active to teach and change our lives until, one day, we will wake up satisfied with His likeness!

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