Today’s reading: Titus 2, 3, Philemon, Proverbs 28
Titus 2:11-12 (NKJV)
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.
Whenever I teach – or a guest speaker teaches – on the subject of grace, questions inevitably come up by sincere people expressing their concerns about “greasy grace.” I understand their concerns because I have observed people over the years who heard the message of grace and used it to make provision for their flesh. They heard that God loves them unconditionally whether they attend church, serve others, or give or not, and then decided they didn’t need to be a part of the corporate body anymore.
Or they heard that their sin doesn’t stop God from loving them – which is true. So they go ahead and live in the sin and bondage they are in without any concern about the consequences it may bring and the influence that will have on others. That type of response is just plain selfish! There is no love in that. And, by the way, that is not God’s grace! The grace of God is His enabling power in our lives.
God does not enable us to sin. Neither does He enable us to make provision for our flesh and make selfish, inconsiderate decisions that affect others in a negative way. That is not God. And it is not grace. I understand what people mean when they say, “greasy grace.” But the truth is that term is an oxy-moron. They are opposites that cannot co-exist.
The grace of God is not greasy, selfish, or inconsiderate of others. The truth is whenever Christians act in this fashion, they have failed to draw on the grace of God. They have in fact acted from their flesh even though the grace of God is available to them. This passage in Titus declares the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. It also teaches us to live soberly, righteously, and godly. That doesn’t sound greasy, selfish, or inconsiderate to me.
In Romans, Paul tells us that whenever we allow sin to have dominion over us we are not walking under grace, but under the law – Rom. 6:14. So the truth is whenever we sin or make selfish, carnal decisions, certainly God still loves us. But we are not functioning under His grace, but by the strength of the flesh. God doesn’t give us grace to sin or to act selfishly.
His enabling power is given to us to act like Jesus! His grace helps us to manifest the Son of God and walk in love toward people. To do otherwise is to temporarily fall from grace. Thank God His love and mercy is no less available to us, but the goal of His love and mercy is to lead us back to grace. The grace of God teaches us to manifest Jesus, not make excuses for manifesting our flesh. Think about it!