(Old Facebook Post – Revised)
Are you being trained by grace today? What does that training look like in your situation? How do you discipline yourself to undergo grace’s training? How does the fact that you have been saved by grace change you so that you engage in godly behaviors?
“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, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14 ESV)
“When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. (Titus 3:4-8, ESV.)
Note how the second passage parallels the first one, with “goodness and loving kindness” matching “grace.” Both of these first “appear,” then “save” us (fleshed out in much greater detail in the second passage), and finally lead to “good works.”
I think one way we can cooperate with grace’s training is to regularly meditate on all the aspects of how grace has saved us (as begun in the second passage). This is the “knowledge of the truth that accords with (or leads to) godliness,” see Titus 1:1. Martin Luther counseled pastors to preach the gospel of grace and “beat it into people’s heads” continually.