Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
We’ve been talking a lot about how we should love the world, offer them entrance with open arms, overlooking their flaws and bringing them into the church family without gates. This is true, and it is the proper way to approach the world in an evangelistic way. That is how they are made clean, that is how they are justified. However, once they are within our walls, closely tied to our family, and know our true heart THEN we can begin helping them become sanctified.
As we just read in Titus the grace of God that has given us salvation should then begin to teach us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. We shouldn’t be taking the same acceptance we have given the world and blanket it over our church. We are not called to practice unrighteousness just because we are LEGALLY righteous. Instead that same grace that placed us under Christ’s legal payment should begin to teach us to mold our life and prune it- through the Spirit. It is when we get the proper order that we can truly become sanctified.
Once we are justified and KNOW that we are saved, THEN we can begin to be changed by the Spirit: convicted not condemned, shown but not shamed. When the proper order is followed there need not be a concern about our salvation when we fail because our salvation was taken care of in step 1. We are now in step 2 which is attempting to get our life to look like step 1’s result. This is another gift from God, that not only does He save us but then He begins to make us look like Him!! 🙂 We can remind ourselves constantly “my sins were forgiven or I wouldn’t be making these changes” instead of “my sins wont be forgiven if I don’t make these changes.”
Proper order here is necessary, otherwise we end up legalists: thinking our actions keep us saved, or produce salvation. It takes some time to get rid of the bad things, and you will likely never make it to the end of that road. It also takes some time to change your mind when it comes to how you are being saved. Many of us are stuck in that legalistic mindset, but we need to understand this. In like manner, we need to understand this about those around us. We are all on the path to sanctification and that doesn’t mean we aren’t justified. Look around and see believers who are struggling, making mistakes, and looking pretty dirty and know that they are in step 2 (it’s a dirty process). Let’s not judge others’ salvation in step 2 but instead evaluate step 1, assure it was proper, then trust the Spirit in step 2.
Spend 1 minute thanking the Lord for the first step then spend 2-3 minutes praying for God to help see and follow the second step.
You may already know these truths… well guess what? This fourth “R” (relating) is something you’re supposed to be doing. Instead of reading these devotions and only looking at it for something that YOU need, start to realize you are to be looking for easy ways to explain the things you believe to other believers. I was confused as to why God would have me write this at first. Initially I thought, well maybe some just don’t understand the distinction still. Then I realized as I was finishing, you are a developing minister of righteousness. You have been instructed to tell people about the grace of God. You are instructed to evangelize and lead people to the Lord just like I am. SO if you have been reading/doing all these devotion “relate” steps then you will eventually run into someone who is asking you these questions. You may have always KNEW the truth, that sanctification is the second process, but maybe didn’t have a verse to back it up or an easy way to explain it. Now you do! 🙂 Take this word, and have it available in your mind to explain to others who you are leading to the Lord. If you don’t have anyone yet, be patient, the harvest is plenty it’s the workers that are few and you are helping with both sides of that phrase right now. 😀