Grace to Live

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self- controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope-the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  (Titus 2:11-14)


This is one of my favorite passages in the Scriptures. When I was younger, I would use it to straighten myself out. I read it singularly, telling myself that if I really loved Jesus, I wouldn’t do stupid things. But as I read it this morning, I realized that Paul wrote it in the plural. He is basically rephrasing Jesus’ “love God by loving others” teaching. (Mark 12:30-31) The point of living “self- controlled, upright and godly lives” is not to make sure we keep a clean record, but rather to keep in mind that when we sin, we sin against someone and are not walking in love. Jesus didn’t give himself for our salvation to make a society of goody-two-shoes, but a community of lovers, “eager to do what is good.” We love God best when we love others well. The grace for salvation we received from Jesus and his people is extended and embodied as we choose to love as his people empowered by his grace. “Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)


Grace and peace,


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