January 21st, 1996 “The Grace of God” Rev. French
Titus 2:11,12 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
The grace of God is God's favour for sinful man. When a sinful man turns to Him with all his heart, we see His grace. The grace of God is not only God's favour to sinful man; it is also the inner working of the Spirit to put spiritual convictions within man's heart to turn and be like God. No man has any such desire unless God puts such grace in him. Any desire to pray, any desire to go to heaven, any desire to be like God, is by the grace of God working in man. The power to respond is by God's grace. We can notice that it is one thing to have the desire to be like God and another to grow to be like Him. Unless God gives us the grace we cannot repent. But God offers to give us the grace and power to grow. God, by His grace, reaches even lost men to put in them the desire to seek Him and then draws them to Himself. It is wonderful to read of the conversion of Bro. Joshua Daniel's grandfather who once worshipped idols. Who put the desire for truth and instilled the inner recognition of truth in Bro. Joshua Daniel's grandfather? It is God. He manifested His Name through him and his progeny.
This grace has appeared unto all men. God has put in us the proclivity and means to recognise the truth of God in His creation. "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power an godhead; so that they are without excuse." (Rom. 1:20) Even creation manifests the attributes of God. So in the world around us we see the attributes of God. This grace has appeared to all men. The Holy Spirit of God is present to awaken the conscience, convict and reveal Jesus and is ready to help us obey Him. Many may reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But they will be without any excuse.
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled." Who puts this hunger and thirst in you? It is the grace of God working in your heart. Be encouraged. The God who calls you and draws you will meet your need. I've not been in any country where God’s Holy Spirit has not been at work already. Keep step with the Holy Spirit. For that, all you have to do is to do all that God wants you to do. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and with the mighty work of grace wants to cleanse and deliver us and clothe us with the righteousness of Christ. This great salvation has appeared to all men.
What does this grace of God further teach us? That we should deny or reject all ungodliness. What is ungodliness? All attitude and behaviour that is not like God's. God is love. All manner of hatred is against God. The grace of God teaches us to be Godlike. It teaches us to reject worldly lusts, the system of evil that dominates lost mankind's thinking that the only way to happiness is fulfilling all lusts. God has given appetites for food, for reproduction, for relationship and friendship. But they become worldly when they dominate and control our lives. Gluttony is food dominating us, when we live to eat instead of eating to live. No glutton can enter into heaven. To become a slave to alcohol and to pride of life, materialism and the flesh is to yield to worldly lusts. The grace of God teaches us to reject worldly lusts.
In contrast we must live soberly. Does it mean to be sour, to be unkind, unpleasant? No! That is not what this word means in Greek. It talks about clear-headedness, to see the truth clearly and to apply the truth in wisdom in our lives. A drunkard thinks of fun for the moment. He doesn't think rightly. He is not in control but under the control of the demon, alcohol. I have a duty to support my family. I have a duty to live for God’s glory. I say 'yes' to my duty. That is sober thinking. A sober man can be happy with his family and enjoy the good things God has provided. He can go home and rejoice with his family and laugh and eat with joy what God gives. The grace of God teaches us to be sober, not to be overcome by the pleasures of the moment but to keep our eyes on Jesus and to say 'No' to the pleasures of the world and to say 'Yes' to the grace of God.
In this present age, can we live godly, soberly, righteously? Many may say 'No'. Remember what the grace of God teaches us. It teaches us to be sober and godly and the grace of God is available to build you up as you yield to Him and obey Him with all your heart. I want to encourage you who believe in the grace of God to be faithful, to respond to the speaking of the Holy Spirit, to be a shining witness for Jesus, so that people may say of you "I know one person who lives like the Lord Jesus."