Have you ever said, or perhaps heard someone else make this kind of statement about another person? "Now there goes a real piece of work!" Usually that statement is made in negative sense isn't it? This morning I want us to think of that as we look at our text. The Holy Spirit used the Apostle Paul to write the following statement to the believers in Ephesus.
(Eph 2:10) "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
'We are His workmanship' that means that not only has He created us, but as believers, His work continues to make us what we should be. This is made clear from the letter to the believers in Philippi.
(Phil 1:6) "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"
God will complete His work in us. He isn't finished with us yet…we are a work in progress.
Read Text: Titus 2:11-15
Today, I would like to talk about the 'Work of Grace'. God's work in us is a work of grace. Grace is unmerited favor of God. We do not deserve it, but God's grace is available to every one of us today. His desire is to do a work in our lives.
I. His Work of Grace Provides Salvation v11
A. It is a necessary work of grace.
1. Without the grace of God, we have no hope of salvation.
2. No matter how hard we try, we will always fall short.
3. Man cannot justify himself. (Rom 3:10) "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:"
(Rom 3:23) "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
(Rom 3:24) "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:"
4. This is what has happened to mankind.
a. We have all come up short in all our effort to live a righteous life.
b. It matters not how hard we try, we will always come up short.
c. It matters not how much spiritual effort we exert, we will always come up short of the glory of God.
d. Why? Because we are sinners.
B. Salvation is, "to be rescued from the penalty of sin".
1. The penalty of sin is death.
(Rom 6:23) "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
2. People have tried to change that truth, but it still stands in the path of man's way to the glory of God.
3. Sin has the death penalty on it.
4. No judge or lawyer can get that penalty or sentence removed, it is there to stay.
5. As a sinner, we are condemned to die.
6. We are faced with the penalty of sin.
C. Note v11 "For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men."
1. The grace of God will bring salvation if we will accept it.
2. Salvation gives us what we don't have and that which we cannot obtain on our own.
3. It gives us what we must have to be a child of God.
4. It gives us what we need to take us to heaven.
5. "Appeared" means: "To make known".
6. That means that the grace of God that brings salvation has "been made known" unto all men.
7. Salvation is a work of God's grace, if we will accept it according to His terms, not our own!
II. His Work of Grace Produces Sanctification v 12
A. What is Sanctification?
1. Sanctification is a theological term for being set apart.
2. Set apart from sin and set apart for service to God.
3. It is the same word we find translated holy or holiness.
(Lev 20:7) "Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God."
(1 Pet 1:16) "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
4. But how can we be holy, as God has commanded us?
5. The answer is that it is a work of God's grace.
B. We cannot live the Christian life.
1. That is we cannot live the life that God desires that we live, if we try to live it in our own power.
2. How often have we heard, or have we said to ourselves, 'I can't live the Christian life'?
3. That is true…apart from the grace of God, we cannot live for Him.
4. But God's grace makes it possible for us to live in a manner that is pleasing unto Him.
5. Does that surprise us? It shouldn't!
6. God's work of grace brings salvation, and it brings sanctification.
C. Note the put off/put on principle.
1. Note: Ephesians 4:17-24
2. Paul calls upon the believer to put off the old and replace it with the new!
3. This is exactly what he is talking about when he writes to Titus in v12.
a. 'Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts'
b. 'We should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.'
4. We are to live soberly.
a. That means with a sound mind.
b. We must be thinking right.
c. Our thinking needs to be in accordance with the Word of God.
(Rom 12:2) "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
5. We are to live righteously.
a. Righteous = doing that which is right
b. It is more than just a matter of knowing what is right…
c. We must commit ourselves to doing what is right.
d. We must put our faith into action.
(James 1:22) "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."
6. We are to live godly.
a. Godly living is the opposite of ungodly living.
b. As believers, we are to be God-like or Christ-like.
c. In every aspect of our lives.
d. Christianity is not something that we put on and off like a Sunday suit of clothes.
e. The Lord calls upon us to live in such a manner as to properly reflect His character to the lost.
7. We can only do this through His work of grace in our lives.
III. His Work of Grace Prepares Us for Our Glorification v13-14
A. When Jesus appears we, the saved, the believers, will be changed into a new body.
(1 Cor 15:52) "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
1. Our present bodies are well suited for this world, but they are not eternal.
2. We are instructed in the Scriptures that this earthly body will be changed into one that is compatible with eternity.
3. We will have a body that is like unto the resurrected body of Christ.
(1 John 3:2) "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
B. God's grace will give us a desire and longing for our glorification.
1. This is the fulfillment of all that God has promised to those who believe.
2. He told us that He was preparing a place for us, and that He would return to receive us unto Himself that we would be with Him forever. Cf John 14:1-3
3. Note: v14
a. He gave Himself for us…
b. That He might redeem us from all iniquity…
c. And purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
4. That says it all about why Jesus Christ came into this world, why He went to Calvary, and why He is coming again.
5. Are we ready for His return?
First of all…this morning have you received the grace of God in salvation? Christian…are we, by grace, living a life of sanctification? Are we prepared for His glorious appearing?