I believe as preachers all of us have to desire to have a balanced ministry and our sermons be the epitome of what John said about our Lord, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Grace and truth – what a perfect combination.
Truth, I think we get. No one wants to preach a sermon that does not embody truth, for the very essence of our subject is Truth. He said so Himself in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
But grace? Now that’s another subject. Grace is a great word when we need to receive it, but it takes on another meaning and is not so great when we need to give it. However, we should give it and we need to preach it.
When Paul wrote a letter to his spiritual son, Titus, there was a word he continued to use and it jumps off the pages when you read it. The word was grace. He began the letter with it in verse 4 and ended the letter with it in Chapter 3 verse 15. He reminded Titus it was by grace that “salvation appeared to all men.” In Titus 2:11–15, the apostle Paul says three things about grace, and then tells Titus to preach it (v. 15), “speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority.” Let me tell you why Paul tells us to preach grace. In verse 12 he says it “teaches” us some things.
1. TEACHES ME IN MY WALK
- Paul said in Colossians 2:6, “As you have received Christ Jesus, so walk ye in Him.” How did we receive Christ? By grace, through faith.
- Paul reminded Titus it was grace that taught us to “deny ungodliness and worldly lust” (v. 13).
- I know some people that believe grace is a dangerous doctrine. They say if you teach a person that he is saved by grace and that goodness and good works have nothing to do with receiving salvation, then people will think they can just go out and live any way they want to. But grace does not give you the license to live like you want to. It gives you the liberty to live like you ought to. In fact, I live like I want to. The truth is Jesus changed my “want-er.” Grace helps me in my walks.
- Do you know what grace does? It changes you. It changes your heart because He gives you a new one. He changes your head because you begin to think the way Jesus wants you to think. It changes your habits because you only want to do the things that bring Him glory.
2. TEACHES ME IN MY WORLDLINESS
- Verse 12 “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”
- Not only does grace help me leave my sinful life, but it also helps me live the sanctified life. We can live “soberly, righteously, and godly lives in the present age.”
- God made us with a body, a soul, and a spirit. When my body is right, I am healthy. When my soul is right, I am happy. Why my spirit is right, I am holy. I live “soberly” (under self-control) with my soul that is my inward life. I live “righteously,” that deals with my body and my outward life. Then I live “godly,” that deals with my spirit, and my upward life. The point Paul makes is God not only gives me the grace to live with Him in heaven but grace to live for Him on earth.
Lastly, the grace that saves you from sin, is the grace that sends you to serve. Grace teaches me in my walk, in my worldliness and grace…
3. TEACHES ME IN MY WORKS
- Verse 14, “zealous for good works.”
- That word zealous literally means boiling or burning hot. Grace will set you on fire to do right, be right, stay right, and live right.
- Listen to 2 Corinthians 9:8, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you that you, always having sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
Grace…what a truth. We live it, we give it, and we preach it. Why? Because it’s the best teacher for our lives. It teaches us in our walk with Christ. We learn the evil of worldliness by being in Christ. And finally, grace teaches us we can be burning hot with work for Christ.
No wonder Paul told his son in the faith, Titus, “to speak these things.” May we as handlers of the Gospel do the same.
Ken Whitten in the Senior Pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Florida.