“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:11–13

Grace is not a word typically used in our society, especially since society has embarked on a coarsening path of devolution. Even so, grace is a word that we must tirelessly use. What better subject is there for contemplation in preparation for monthly communion?

Grace is from the Latin word gratis, meaning “free, ready, quick, willing, prompt, advancing” (Webster). It is not a long leap to conceive how the word came to mean “favor, goodwill, kindness, disposition to oblige another.” Such actions easily took on the form of quality of character in a person, as in manner, deportment, language suitable to the occasion, and (especially) elegance associated with dignity. Grace is synonymous with unconscious beauty (natural and unassuming), with elevating words and actions (others-centered and honoring), and with nobility, as in “Your Grace.” Is it any wonder that Grace or Charis (the Greek form) are feminine names even today? It is a great name to serve as a worthy life-goal.

Biblically, God serves as the model of grace for all men. Our text illustrates the cardinal truth of God’s grace as He reaches out, down, to, and within every genuine believer. God’s grace speaks to His quality and identifies His favor. It is His grace that is our salvation and fully deserves our gratitude. These four aspects are the focus of Titus 2:11ff.

His quality refers to the attributes of God and attributes that are seen through our Lord Jesus Christ. As Webster correctly stated, “God’s grace is the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from Him.” 1 Peter 5:10f reads, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” He is the God of all grace! Psalm 84:11f says, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 declares, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” God is the highest embodiment of all the good found in our concept of the word grace: free, favor, advancing, elegant, elevating, and noble.

His favor refers to the way God “bears Himself” toward His people. It is the favor of God that results in God’s kind disposition in all His dealings with His repentant saints. When you think of the actual nature of real salvation, the actual deliverance by God from the worst possible consequences and destiny unto the best conceivable blessings and destiny, you cannot help but refer to this benefit as the grace of God. The removal of sin and replacing it with the positive righteousness of His Son is grace, sovereign and unconditional. Romans 5:1f illustrates this: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” It is precisely this thought that was in Paul’s mind in Titus 2:11ff, looking forward to the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. This grace has appeared to all men with the advent of Jesus Christ, and we joyfully, expectantly, faithfully await the rapture of the church!

Our salvation is not just a future, dreamed-of, anticipation for believers. Salvation is the grand total of all the good that is funneling into the believer’s life in both the big picture and in the small, daily evidences of grace. All through the believer’s life and into eternity God bears Himself toward His child with favor, mercy, and pardon. “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Ephesians 4:7).

It is by the grace of God that He has delivered us from guilt (Ephesians 1:7), slavery (Romans 7:24), and punishment under God’s wrath and everlasting death (Ephesians 2:3–6). It is also by the grace of God that believers are brought into a state of righteousness (Romans 3:21ff), freedom (Galatians 5:1), made children of God and immediate heirs of everlasting life (Colossians 3:1ff).

Our gratitude is the direct product of the Holy Spirit’s divine influence that renews your heart for the highest virtues and serves to restrain your wayward heart from sin. A regular practice of focusing your attention on your own unworthiness in light of the greatness of God’s goodness, might, and majesty is a healthy contemplation. Our text in Titus 2 explains the relationship between the grace of God and your daily victories over sin.

God’s grace is not to help people save themselves, nor to induce sinners to save themselves. God’s grace does not even enable sinners to save themselves. Jesus came to save, redeem, deliver. Your salvation is all of grace and none of yourself! It is no surprise so many benedictions in the Word of God rest upon God’s grace! Trust and obey.