SANCTIFYING GRACE

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age . . .  Titus 2:11–12

Life coaching has become an international phenomenon. The International Coaching Federation reported in 2012 that there are 47,500 life coaches in 140 nations, charging an average of USD 229 per hour, coaching people to discern what is the right thing to do. A coach helps his or her client to take responsibility by asking questions that bring greater clarity and by encouraging and affirming positive goals. 

We too have a life coach for our Christian walk: the grace of God. The word translated “training” means “child trainer,” but a more contemporary idea might be “life coach.” Grace “coaches” us to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”

Titus was in Crete when he received this letter from Paul. Crete had once been a great civilization. But it had become morally corrupt, and in this atmosphere, the concept of grace was distorted among the Cretan believers. They probably reasoned like this: “Salvation was by grace alone and we added nothing. If our behavior had nothing to do with our salvation, then we can live how we want and expect God to overlook our sins.” Paul attacked this view vigorously in this letter and in his other writings.

The Bible teaches us that just as it is grace that saves us, it is also grace that empowers us to say “no” to sin and to live a holy life. This is the process of sanctification. Sanctification is a work of God’s grace, and we are called to participate in this work. Just like in coaching, we must take responsibility and participate in the process. Grace is at work right now in your life, “coaching” you to renounce sin and to live a godly life.

Because of Christ’s sanctifying grace, you can say “no” to sin.

Reflect

  1. Do you think it is important to have someone who will ask questions, bring clarity, and encourage and affirm your positive goals? Why?
  2. How does God, through grace and the process of sanctification, “coach” us to live the Christian life? 
  3. The grace of God guides us and corrects us so that we can be more like Christ and say no to sin. How have you seen sanctification at work in your own life? 

Pray

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age . . .  Titus 2:11–12

Heavenly Father, thank you that your grace saves me and changes me. You give me the power to follow you, obey you, and live a godly life. Teach me to give up the way I acted and spoke before I came to know you. Transform my desires to fit into your design for my life. Jesus, I thank you for walking with me every day, so that I may become more and more like you. I pray that your salvation will work in me to bring you honor and glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.



Categories: christianity, english

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