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3/15/18

Training In Grace

11 For the grace of God has appeared,
bringing salvation for all people,
12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions...
Titus 2.11-12

We talk a lot about discipleship. With discipleship, we are seeking to help one another take the next step in following Jesus. This next step could be conversion, helping another give their lives to following Jesus, or it could be for someone who has followed Jesus for a long time, learning the next step in obedience, putting off sinful anger or learning to winsomely talk to others about Jesus.

From the passage above, though, I think it is important to look at discipleship as training in grace. 

What I mean is this: God's grace revealed in Jesus is utterly unique in world religions. World religions start with the operating principle, obey to be loved. That is, the relationship with the deity is based in our performance. But with God's grace revealed in Jesus and announced in the Bible, the basis of our relationship with God isn't our performance, but grace. God's grace. The message of the Bible is God loves us and is gracious with us, so obey. The basis isn't our performance, but Jesus' performance. 

Out of love for us, simply because God loves us, Jesus was sent and humbly entered into human history to do for us what we couldn't do. 

Jesus lived the life we should have lived, and he died the death we should have died for us. And he rose again, for us. Jesus' performance is the basis of our grace relationship with God.

When we receive this grace, and it takes hold in our hearts, it trains us not to take it for granted, but instead to live godly lives. 

Because of God's love for us, and the costly grace of God in Jesus, we are trained to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions. Grace transforms us. Grace trains us. So, the answer to besetting sins, the antidote to disobedience, is to be trained in the grace of God. Make grace a priority in your discipling. Make grace a priority in your family. Make cherishing and understanding grace a goal for your life. Let grace train you and free you to obey.

Tim Porter

Lead Pastor for the Mission
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