“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” (Titus 2:11-12 ESV).

This is the power of God’s grace: it brings complete salvation from sin. That is, grace saves us, not only from the penalty of sin; it also saves us from the power and pleasure of sin. It trains us to resist and reject the desire to sin by giving us a greater desire to know and please Christ. When, through new birth, we become children of God something genetic happens within our spirits. The “seed of God” now dwells in us and we just cannot continue in the practice of sinning (1 John 3:9). 

This doesn’t mean we never sin or struggle with temptation. It simply means that we have a new nature giving us the same desires as our heavenly Father. The desire to indulge worldly passions decreases while our longing for godliness increases.

This doesn’t happen overnight, hence the reason God’s grace is “training us” in self-controlled, upright (not uptight), godly living. Grace teaches us that the pleasure of sin is fleeting and its consequences are costly, while godliness benefits us both in this life and the next (Rom. 6:23a; 1Tim. 4:8). 

Fully embrace God’s grace. 

Not only will it get you into heaven; it will get heaven into you.

© Paul R Downing

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