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"there has only ever been one perfect man, the Lord Jesus, and we killed him. I only missed a putt."

Berhard Langer on the 1991 Ryder Cup

Understanding grace 2

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. Titus 2:11-12

Last week we saw how salvation is based on grace and that there is nothing we can add to it. So does it matter what I do – if my salvation is already guaranteed? Paul anticipated that question in Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

If verse 11 gives us the theory of grace, verse 12 gives us the practical implications. Accepting God’s grace has implications for how we live. The verse spells out three implications:

We are to say “No” to things we know to be wrong;
We are to exercise self-control;
We are to live godly lives.

Paul Oakley wrote of these verses: “In verse 12 “we see that grace is not a free ticket to heaven but an ongoing encounter with the infinitely merciful God, an encounter which, if authentic, will teach us to say no to certain patterns of behaviour and lead us into healthy ones. Grace both saves and teaches”. (Scripture Union, Encounter with God Bible reading notes 30 November 2018).

Think about areas of your life where you need to say “no”, exercise self-control and be more godly.

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