We Need Grace

Last Sunday, Pastor Ken Lewis preached the sermon: “Displaying Grace in a Chaotic World,” from Titus 2:11. We considered the truth that the grace of God has been revealed through Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Read: Titus 2:12

This Sunday, Ryan Heard will preach from Titus 2:12 and will show us that the same grace that saves us trains us in godliness. As you prepare for our Sunday gathering, let the following devotional from Paul Tripp set your mind on this truth from Titus 2:12.

Reflect: “We Need Grace”

Justification is the only foundation for personal transformation.
Personal transformation never results in justification.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself up for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11–14).

You could not find a more confrontive, humbling, and encouraging passage. First, it confronts us with this reality—there is no way we can win acceptance with God by means of self-reformation and acts of righteousness. Our relationship with God is always the result of his initiative and not ours. He gave himself up for us. He redeemed us. He takes us as his possession. He purifies us. Why does he exercise his sovereign initiative in this way? He does it because there is no other way. Personal righteousness never precedes personal justification. If it is, in fact, God’s grace that causes us to reject ungodliness, to run from worldly passions, and to live in self-controlled and upright ways, then without that grace, we’re a moral mess. Justification is never God recognizing and responding to our purity and righteousness, because without his transforming grace, we don’t have any. What you and I bring to our relationship with God is desperate spiritual and moral need. We come to him dirtied and burdened by our worldliness, ungodliness, and lack of self-control. We need the power of his justifying and transforming grace to wash us clean and empower us to live in the way that we were created to live.

He takes us. He justifies us. He cleanses us. He transforms us. He empowers us. He infuses us with eternal hope. He makes us his people. None of these things would happen to us if he had not willingly given himself for us, because we had no inclination or ability to do them on our own. So you and I are left with no reason to boast and every reason to give ourselves to thankful worship. And you and I have every reason to be encouraged, because this Redeemer has not acted on our behalf just once. He has acted, he is acting, and he will continue to act until we stand before him as his people, completely pure forever and ever.

You see, if you and I could have done these things for ourselves, the life, sacrifice, death, and resurrection of Jesus would not have been necessary. The most precious of things in our lives, our relationship with God, we did not earn. It is the eternal, transformative gift of his grace.

For further study and encouragement: Ephesians 1:3–14

July 16th Devotional, in New Morning Mercies, by Paul Tripp

Sing: Song List for Sunday

1. “Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb,” by People & Songs
2. “It Was Finished Upon that Cross,” by CityAlight
3. “Be Thou My Vision,” Arr. Crosspoint Music
4. “All I Have Is Christ,” by Sovereign Grace Music

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