Apostle Paul dealt with the issue of God’s grace as he wrote to Titus telling him what the grace of God does for us as believers in Jesus Christ and what it teaches and demands from us. The grace of God is defined as the unmerited or undeserved favor of God bestowed upon humankind which accompanies the idea of a covenant. Hence, in this text, we would consider what God’s grace teaches rather than what we usually perceive as what was received through grace.

The Grace of God Brings Salvation

The fact is that the grace of God appeared. It was formerly hidden but God revealed it through His Son Jesus Christ John1:1-5,14)because man was helpless and could not direct his steps to salvation)Jeremiah 10:23). So, when the grace of God appeared, it brought salvation. The Bible declares that, “For by grace you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). Therefore, we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ from our sin. This is so because every man by the reason of sin is condemned to death and deserves punishment(Romans 3:23;6:23). Hence, to be saved, the grace of God is needed. To this end, Jesus Christ had to appear to bring salvation to all who will accept Him as Saviour and Lord by the reason of His death(Titus 2:14; John 3:3,5,16).

Furthermore, this grace is not to a chosen few but it is for all(Titus 2:11). Apostle Peter corroborates this when he declared, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:34-35).

Peter made this assertion when he was introducing Cornelius to Jesus Christ. It behooves those who are yet to accept Jesus Christ to embrace this grace of God through faith in Him for the salvation of their souls. This is significant because Christ’s sacrifice redeemed us from the lawless, purified us, and made us His possession prepared for good works (Titus 2:14 cf. Ephesians 2:10).

The Grace of God Gives Believers Instructions

As it has been mentioned earlier, the grace of God based on the text did not only give the gift of salvation, it also came with instructions to which believers in Jesus Christ should adhere to as well. Paul, in his message, helps us to understand that the grace of God instructs the believers to deny some things.

First, it is instructive that believers should deny themselves any form of ungodliness. In other words, any act that is contrary to the nature and character of God must be done away with(Galatians 5:19-21).

Second, the grace of God also teaches believers to abstain from worldly lusts/desires. That is, believers are to beware of developing desires to the things that are contrary to God’s nature. These are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life(1 John 2:16). In fact, James made us understand that those things lead to death (James 1:15).

Third, this grace of God teaches us to live soberly or sensibly(to live with the focused determined intention of following God’s will); and righteously (living with the consciousness of abiding by the standard of righteousness as revealed in God’s

Word, 2 Timothy 3:16), and godly (conducting oneself in harmony with God’s nature and character). All of these are to be done now-in the percentage in the future.

The Grace of God Gives Believers Hope For Christ’s Rapture. This grace of God is a blessing from God that gives us hope for the return of Christ. This hope will be realized when Christ returns. Hence, while believers live godly lives in this present world(Titus 2:12), the reward is in the return of Jesus Christ. This hope that is what Peter called “a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Therefore, because of this, every believer is eagerly awaiting the return of Christ(Philippians 3:20). This is the more reason why believers are to be wary of false teachers who emphasize that “godliness is a means of gain” in this present world (1Timothy 6:3-5). The bottom line is that through the grace of God, believers have a hope for a reward that is far greater than anything we could ever imagine to have in this life. It, therefore, behooves us to cherish this grace and hold on to it.

Biblical View of Grace

Grace is the basis for the Christian faith. We believe we are saved by faith through grace. From the time of the early church, Christian theologians have developed and clarified the biblical concept of grace. The word grace has three great theological controversies:

  • one, the nature of human depravity and regeneration,
  • two,  the relation between grace and free will.
  • three, the “means of grace” between Catholics and Protestants-i.e., whether the efficacy of the sacraments as channels of divine grace is dependent on good works performed or dependent on the faith of the recipient.

Besides, Christian orthodoxy has taught that the initiative in the relationship of grace between God and humanity is always on the side of God. Once God has granted this “first grace, “however, an individual does have a response to give and a responsibility for the continuance of the relationship. Although the ideas of grace and merit are mutually exclusive, neither St. Augustine nor the Protestant defenders of the principle of justification by “grace alone” could avoid the question of the reward of merit in the relationship of grace. Some passages of the New Testament seem to use Charis  for “reward.”

Classical Protestantism spoke of cooperating grace after conversion as a way of including human activity in the life of grace, but it avoided language that would suggest that a person earns something by obedience in grace.

Moreover, Baptists speak of ordinances rather than of sacraments, and evangelical Christians and those in the Reformed and Free Church traditions generally insist that participation in grace occurs on the personal faith, and not by sacramental observance.

Today I want to write about six different types of grace. I don’t believe that these are the only variations of grace, but for the sake of this write-up, I’m only going to focus on these six.

Forgiveness

First and foremost, there’s the grace of forgiveness. We all do The Bible calls that sin-and that leaves us guilty.  Jesus Christ went to the Cross to carry our sins and to bear our punishment so we could experience radical, comprehensive, and complete forgiveness.

Acceptance

He invites us into His family. Head opts for us as His children, and because of that, we now have this Father-child relationship with Him where we can come to Him. Sin once separated us from God; by grace, we now have acceptance.

Presence

God is present with us wherever we are, whomever we’re with, and whatever we’re doing. It wasn’t enough for God to forgive us-He unzipped us and got inside us by His Holy Spirit, and so He is with us all the time.

Enablement

I wrote in the beginning of the writing that grace reaches us where we are and takes us where God wants us to be. You see, God’s not simply content to give us salvation and then leave us alone until eternity.

Freedom

God’s grace also delivers. Sin always turns us into addicts, and we are slaves of sin, It is God’s grace that breaks that bondage.

Completion

Finally, God’s grace is the grace of completion. There will be a day when you and I will be fully restored to who we were meant to be. There will be no more sin; there will be no more struggles.


Oloruntoba Peter Olatunde, Beulah Baptist Church, Apete, Ibadan

Deacon Dr.RotimiOdudele Ebenezer Baptist Cburch,Oke-itunuOkoro Ibadan,