Be A Christian in a Non-Christian World Part 02
Because this is the least that we can do for the Lord after all that He has done for us “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (v.11). The most important words in this verse are the words, “grace of God”. Do you know what the “grace of God” is? It can be described as the unmerited favour and undeserved kindness that He has shown to us in saving us from our sins. And this grace of God was fully revealed to us through Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. God sent His Son into the world to save us by taking all of our sins upon Himself and dying on the cross at Calvary. And now that this grace of God has appeared to us, our lives can no longer remain the same.
Such wonderful grace which we have received, must surely teach us to respond not only with gratitude, but also with godly living. It obliges us, it constrains us toward godly living. If it does not produce this response, then this grace is received in vain. And so our first reason for living godly lives is because this is really the least we can do for the Lord after all the great things that He has done for us. A long time ago in England, there was a famous learned scholar by the name of John Selden. He had a powerful mind and a voracious appetite for books. He read all the books that existed in his time, and even boasted that he had a great library of 8,000 volumes on many
And he was gifted with the ability to remember most of what he had read. But when he was dying this is what he said to someone: “I have surveyed most of the learning that is among the sons of men, and my study is filled with books and manuscripts on various subjects. But at present I cannot recollect any passage out of all my books and papers on which I can rest my soul except this from the sacred Scriptures: The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Who gave himself for us . . . .” (Tit 2:11-14).
Sometimes, we tend to forget how much the Lord has done for us. We tend to lose the sense of wonder and appreciation of just how gracious, kind and loving God has been to us. We forget that without the grace of God, we would be eternally lost in our sins, destined for hell and eternal punishment. We need to get back to the basics again: How did God show His love for us? What did He do for us? I think there are no better words that can describe this fully than the words of Scripture itself. In Titus 3:3-6, we read this wonderful statement: “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared [this is a restatement of v.12], Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost: Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.”
Can you see in these words how gracious and wonderful the Lord has been to us? This grace of God is so much more than anything you and I have ever received or can ever receive from anyone. And what makes it all the more amazing is that you received it even though for being a sinner filled with ungodliness and worldly lusts, you deserved the very opposite from God. How can it be? How can it be? We may never be able to fully understand what made God so gracious and merciful to us, but this one thing we do know: such great grace surely deserves a good response from us. Such great grace must surely induce us and instruct us how to respond to it in an appropriate manner.
And how should we respond to that grace that has been shown to us? How can we repay that kindness? Titus 2:12 gives the answer plainly and clearly: “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Godly living becomes the only correct response we can give for the grace we have received from the Lord. Any other response than that would be a mismatch, and even an insult to the grace we have received. Now it is worth asking the question then, “What does it mean to live godly?” It does not mean that we are just to confine ourselves within a set of rules and regulations. Some people reduce godly living to a list of “do’s and don’ts.” But the meaning of godly living goes far deeper than that. Godly living means living in the manner that God wants us to live.