“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 this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” Titus 2:11-15.
The Grace of God that brings Salvation is available for all…for whosoever will believe. The Grace of God teaches us to deny ourselves; deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. God’s Grace exhorts us to pick up our cross and live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. It is there, at the crossroads of denying ourselves and picking up our cross that the Believer will often fail.
Religion will exhort us to live soberly. It will give us many methods to be righteous and godly in this present world but none of which result in the purifying of a “peculiar people”. Lifting up the demands of the law, this includes the law of “love” which results in unconditional love for that which God has declared sinful, cannot result in holy living. If this was so, the Cross of Christ was in vain.
God has given us ONE answer for sin. There is but one Way, one Truth and one Life and that is in the Man Christ Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, Who came to die on Calvary’s Cross to pay the wages of sin for whosoever will believe and is sat down on the Right Hand of the Majesty on High. Because of WHO Jesus is and what He has done on the Cross, sin shall no longer have dominion over the Believer.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the Law, but under Grace.” Romans 6:14.
The Holy Spirit is not commissioned to free us from the law of sin and death unless our faith is solely and exclusively in Jesus Christ and His finished work. Romans 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” This is a spiritual law! Lying to ourselves about our condition does not result in healing. Faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ causes God to perceive the virtue flowing from the hem of Jesus’ garment and touches the throne room of Heaven.
The crossroads of denying ourselves and picking up our cross – picking up that which the Lord Jesus Christ made available to all who believe, dominion over sin and the ability to live a righteous and godly life in the present world; cannot be broached unless we first deny ourselves. The modern gospels are all about self and what we must do to obtain this righteous and holy life we hear so much about. Ceremonies, traditions and “doing our part” had nothing to do with our Salvation and neither does it have anything to do with our Sanctification. These methods lifted up to the modern church today result in failure which can lead to the destruction of one’s faith in Jesus for Salvation.
“And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
One cannot live soberly and righteously until one denies himself. When we are the source and our effort the means of our holiness, we are abominable in the eyes of God…no matter how religious they may seem. Deny yourself. Reach out and touch the Hem of His Garment and allow God’s healing virtue to flow. Come out from among them and be the peculiar people the Lord has called us to be. Press toward the mark for the prize of the High calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Look for and you will find that blessed Hope…Christ Jesus.
-Donna Clark Warren