On Sunday, we looked at the third part of our series on grace: 'Grace Teaches Us', drawn from Titus 2:12.
We looked at the fact that grace is not just for bringing us to Christ, but for every day of our Christian lives.
As the book I recommended (The Discipline of Grace, Jerry Bridges) says, 'Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace.'
We looked at:
- what grace teaches us (what we are to say 'No' to; what we are to say 'Yes' to)
- how grace teaches us (training being like bringing up a child - out of a lifelong loving relationship). I talked about how the lessons God teaches us can sometimes be hard, or painful, but they are all for our good. We have a part to play to - we should be good students of God's grace, by walking in the Spirit (Luke 11:13, Gal 5:16), and knowing God's word (John 17:17, 2 Tim 3:16), and being part of God's family - this isn't some test with 'no conferring'…
- the purpose of the training (Titus 2:14b - a people zealous for good works)
- the outcome of the training - that we are a ultimately to be a beautiful bride for Christ, pure and spotless, attired with 'the righteous
deeds of the saints' (Rev 19:6-8).
Two related topics which I didn't cover in much detail but are important to this subject - you may want to consider further:
- Grace teaches us our identity - 'In Christ.' How does knowing our identity change our lives? (Romans 6)
- The importance of faith (that God has been and will continue to be good and gracious to us) in motivating us to good works. Look at the good works listed in Hebrews 11 - By faith.
- We don't grow out of our dependence on the gospel. How do you apply the gospel to yourself on a daily basis?
- How can you be a better student of God's grace? What are you going to do about it?
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:10. Does grace motivate you to hard work? How?
- 'Consider how to stir up one another to love and good works … encouraging one another' (Heb. 10:24-25)