Trained by Grace, Made Holy by the Gospel

I’ve suggested in some of my recent blog posts that multiplying church regulations isn’t the solution for producing holiness. And I’ve said that the gospel of grace is the solution. Grace trains us in holiness:

For the grace of God has appeared… training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age. (Tit. 2:11-12; compare Tit. 2:11-15 with Tit. 3:3-8)

It’s always a delight to sense God’s grace operating in our own lives! Here’s a small example from today: A piano student (actually, the student’s parents) failed today for the umpteenth time to come for the scheduled lesson. I’ve decided I’ll adjust my policies to require a minimum of four pre-paid lessons per month, with no same-day cancellations offered. But meanwhile, I’m thankful that I don’t feel angry. Why not?

Because I am keenly aware that my own offenses have been far greater, yet I’ve been given grace! What a wonder! Having received this grace, I am equipped and motivated to offer it to others, too.

Sanctification isn’t always as easy or immediate as this (and, believe me, I certainly do still struggle with impatience). But the basic path to victory is always the same: lean more heavily on the grace of God shown to us in Christ Jesus.

Takeaway: Meditate deeply on the grace of God to you–past, present, and promised for the future–and you are sure to grow in holiness. That’s a guarantee that I’ll never make if you only meditate on a set of rules.

Do you have a testimony of how you have been trained by grace? Share it below, to the glory of God in Christ!


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6 thoughts on “Trained by Grace, Made Holy by the Gospel”

  1. I love grace stories! Recently a similar thing happened to me. There was a woman who had very deeply wounded me, and although I knew I had to “be nice”, I avoided her whenever possible. One day, in a moment of clarity, I realized that I did not want to be an unforgiving person. Something deep within me changed. The next time I saw this person, I had a friendly conversation with her, and felt absolutely none of the former anger and repulsion. There’s no way that I could have manufactured that! It was a beautiful lesson to me about the work of Christ versus my human efforts.

  2. I think you’re definitely onto something here. Keeping the commandments of Jesus Christ is something different from the rigid prescriptions of the law of Moses.

  3. I have a few hundred grace stories, but I’ll limit it to one. I remember the day my eyes popped open to how “inconsiderate” I was. People around me would have called me kind, pleasant, and other such words, but grace showed me one day that while I welcomed others, I did not “consider” them. I was not quickly interested in or alert to their mood, health, or circumstances. My wife was, and I learned much more about my friends and their lives from her questions and conversation than my own. I welcomed others talking about their lives, but I didn’t pursue or elicit such talk from them. Considering them, and how I might pray or encourage them, was no priority to me. I was a perfect example of “inconsiderate” without anyone really noticing because they could talk to me … If they made the effort. It was the grace of God to expose me, and it is the grace of God that feeds my pursuit of being a considerate person against my self-focused personality.

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