Titus 2:11-15 New King James Version (NKJV)
Trained by Saving Grace
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.
It is my joy to know some special people - like you!
--People who have - and will - make a difference.
--Who have a great influence for good, and for God.
--Who have met Jesus, and their life reveals Christ.
--Did you note our text? That the Lord can, "purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:14). Those who are born again.
--When God changes us, He makes something special.
--All those who love the Lord. And love one another.
I think of everyone as special, for you indeed are.
--You are a special creation of God. To the family.
--To us. For God made us all, to be special people.
--I served near Detroit for years, and was in plants where they made all kinds of cars - all different.
--Sort of like people, for we are, all different.
--Different gifts, talents, influence. Loved alike.
--Each with a special purpose, from the hand of God.
--God has a plan for good for each (Jeremiah 29:11).
--So be yourself, for all that God wants you to be.
Evangelist D.L. Moody's mother had 3 principles for her children: Trust the Lord. Keep promises. Don't find fault. By prayer and the Word of the Lord, she made her family special. And so did my parents.
That is what Paul is doing for young Titus - and us.
--Paul led Titus to Christ, Helped him grow in God.
--Now Titus is a missionary, on the Island of Crete.
--In this letter Paul gives some valuable counsel.
--Paul and Titus had been on Crete ministering; Titus was left there, and Paul writes, tell the people "the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). Jesus is for us all.
--Also, God wants to "purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (v 14).
--In only forty-six verses, Titus is told so much.
"The grace of God." What is grace? "Grace of God"?
--To me it is His mercy and love we all need dearly.
--I spell it, "God's Riches at Christ's Expense."
--Grace, we do not deserve, but can't live without.
--We sing "Amazing Grace," amazed God loves sinners.
God's grace "brings salvation." What is salvation?
--It is forgiveness of sin. Eternal life in heaven.
--An amazing thing, it is available "to all men."
--Everyone of us is eligible for pardon and power.
--To get all of God, Jesus, His Spirit, just believe!
--Simply trust, and obey, the Lord and His Word.
Verse 12 reads, "teaching us." Teaching us what?
--That "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly."
--God's "grace" with "godly" living makes one special.
Critics say Christians "try to reform the world."
--No, something better, we seek to "redeem the world."
--The world needs redeeming - to be saved from sin.
--We're trying to save the world before it destructs.
It is a frightening world our children, and we, face.
--Sin increases all over. Morals meaningless to many.
--People ask, "What is the world coming to?"
--History shows that in time sin is always judged.
What can we do? "Looking for the blessed hope, and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). Don't miss something special!
--Jesus is rightly called, "great God, and Savior."
--Jesus is God alright, our kind of God with skin on.
--Willing to endure a cross, to save a dying world.
--And prove His deity, by rising again from a grave!
Jesus has changed the world and millions who believe and follow Him. Coming again to call us to Himself.
--I say He is the only One able to bring us peace or forgiveness, order from chaos, right our wrongs.
God's grace "brings salvation," for we all need it.
--Until Jesus comes, we are lost, bound for hell being without God's grace. Thank God for His grace!
--Those before the cross, looked forward to it.
--We, since His cross, look back on Jesus to save us.
--It is Christ's salvation, that makes us special.
Do you believe the Gospel? Nancy Wagner sure did.
--She is special. She cares for an invalid sister.
--Has, for eight years, in Kingsport, TN, day by day.
--Night after night, caring for one unable to do so.
--She did it patiently. Lovingly. How did she?
--"I asked God to help me; help me love all I did."
--And God did! What blessings God gave them both!
--"It was physically trying, but the joy of serving the Lord in serving my dear sister, never left me. She couldn't walk; could barely talk. Seldom did. She was scarcely free of pain. Was fed by tubes."
--Nancy went on, "I'll get the blessing; she the suffering. All the while I've grown in grace, love, and patience - totally dependent on God, my joy."
How did she get that sweet spirit? By God's grace!
--By "looking unto Jesus." Seeking His Holy Spirit.
--Troubles, you see, can make us .. special people.
"There is so much within this world, Of trouble, bitterness, and pain. Yet, nothing that God in grace allows, Comes, without some gift of gain." W.D.G.
Paul reminds Titus and us of Jesus, "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people."
--By God's grace! Gives what we cannot do, buy, earn.
--Gives His life in us. His Spirit. God's likeness.
--This personal relationship with Him is so special!
Way back in Deuteronomy 14:2, "The Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure."
Friend, you and I are chosen! "A special treasure."
Enoch "walked with God" (Genesis 5:22). He chose to.
--Others, many of them, walking a worldly path.
--Maybe some said, "You are out of step - you have to do what the world is doing!" But do we, really?
--Enoch just kept walking and talking with God.
--That is what made Enoch special. "Walked with God."
--One day he walked on into heaven, withouth dying!
Take Noah and his family in a day of indifference to God, and gross immorality; would not follow a crowd.
--Evil was so great, God had to send a great flood.
--For many years Noah built an ark - and preached.
--Most of the people laughed, or scoffed in unbelief.
--They thought Noah peculiar - but he was special!
--When the floods of judgment finally came, Noah and his family were safe inside the ark of salvation.
--But it was too late, for others who did not believe.
When we think about it, most of our problems or world problems, are because we don't believe or live right.
Believers in the Lord are special people who try ever to live right, following "in His steps," of Jesus.
--He is God's greatest gift - God "gave Himself."
--Not another. Not an angel, or substitute. Jesus.
--God Himself, to come to earth, "dwell among us."
--To a cross and empty tomb, to "dwell in us."
--The Word became flesh." That He may live in us.
God's greatest gift is our greatest gain - "that He might redeem us," that is, buy us back from Satan.
--It should be our greatest goal - to be "His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:14).
--From heaven, to a manger; from a throne to a cross.
--That we might be one glad day with Him, in glory.
You say, "I want that, how can I get it?" Simple.
--First, know the Lord Jesus, as your own Savior.
--Not a "hope-so, or maybe so," but you know so.
--Invite Jesus in. Confess sin. Follow Him as Lord.
Second, obey the Lord, day by day. How? Pray.
--Read His Word. Grow in grace. Witness. And joy.
Third, serve the Lord. Serve Him by serving others.
--There are many ways we all can serve, bless many.
--We are not saved by good works, but to good works.
--God's special people are known by "their fruits."
--Some of you are bearing such good "fruits" for Him.
God elects all to be saved. Satan wants all lost.
--Each of us must decide, choose - and break the tie.
--"Choose this day who you will serve," Joshua said.
--Do it now, while you may. While the Spirit calls.
--Be God's special people.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD. DD. 712