Last night before going to bed I enjoyed reading through the book of Titus. Titus is one of the letters Paul wrote to encourage an early church shepherd, obviously going by the name of Titus. There are numerous thoughts one could explore in this book of the Bible, but one rings very true for many Christian leaders today. There are many current Christian teachers attempting to restore a true definition to what Salvation is, and some insight can be found in this letter to Titus.
Allow me to start towards the end of the second chapter. Paul has offered instruction for those in several different stages of life for the first ten verses, but then he pulls all of his readers back to a central truth of Christianity. In verse 11, Paul writes;
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,” Titus 2:11 [ESV]
There are those who will want to debate what Paul meant by saying Christ’s salvation is for all people. Regardless of this issue however, it is important to remember that at the very least the grace of God, which was extended to mankind through Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, is something that can redeem any kind of man from their sins and sin’s penalty, eternal death. The message of redeeming grace is very wonderful, and it is this message we are expect to share if we confess Christ as our Lord.
However, the problem the modern church faces is that too often we only proclaim the availability of God’s grace, and not what His grace will change in our lives. When Paul speaks of this grace in his letter to Titus, his message did not end just by saying you can receive salvation for believing in Christ. Here is what Paul continued with in Titus 2:12. (Previous verse added in italics for context.)
“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]
Salvation has an expected outcome. When a person accepts the salvation of Jesus, we are claiming not only the eternal life of John 3:16, but the transformation of our minds from Romans 12. This transformation is more than just a new title, but it should be a completely new life. Claiming the salvation offered through Jesus means accepting him as Lord. While Christ lived on earth, he showed what He expected from the people that followed him. He constantly showed them that ungodliness has no place with Him. Worldly passions for love, security, and recognition had no place with Jesus’ disciples. Instead, they were expected to live upright lives. This is the salvation the early church knew and it is this salvation that we very rarely see today.
There is no such thing as a Christian who can sleep with their boyfriend and feel guilt free. There is no such thing as a Christian whose language is filled with crassness, anger or hatred and also truly knows the sacrifice of Jesus. A Christian who clings to worldly things is not a Christian, because we are to renounce this world and its desires.
There is indeed a salvation that is available to anyone who seeks it. With that said, however, there are many people we know who have heard who Jesus is, but have not received his salvation. Don’t be tricked. The salvation that Jesus offers is one that removes sin from our lives, not one that says I’ll get better some day.
Written by Timothy Hegerich
There is truth in our world, and it lies within the word of the One who created the world. It is my prayer that my thoughts and writings echo this truth and inspire you to seek it for your life today!