************ Sermon on Titus 2:11 ************


By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman


This sermon was preached on November 1, 2020


Titus 2:11-15
Titus 2:11
"The Grace of God has Appeared"

Introduction
Throughout his letter, Paul keeps emphasizing one thing about God. He emphasizes God is a saving God. The message he wants Titus to remember and the world to hear is that Jesus saves:
-Titus 1:3 - "God our Savior"
-Titus 1:4 - "God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior"
-Titus 2:10 - "God our Savior"
-Titus 2:13 - "our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ"
-Titus 3:4 - "God our Savior"
-Titus 3:6 - "Jesus Christ our Savior
Almost every time Paul mentions God or Christ in this letter, he identifies them as "Savior." On this Lord's Supper Sunday this is our emphasis and our message too: God is Savior.

How do we know God is Savior? What is the proof, the evidence? Well, the Bible tells us:
Jesus loves me!
This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
But there is also another proof. Look in the mirror. Look at the people around you in the pew. What am I saying? That saved people are the proof that God is a saving God. You and I are convincing evidence that God can and does save. When people look at us sinners and our changed lives they should conclude God saves.

I Grace Saves
A "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). Our first point is that God's grace saves.

God's grace saves undeserving sinners. God's grace saves those who can't save themselves. That's the point of the word "grace" in our text. Grace means it is a gift, a gift of God. Grace means it is free, unearned, undeserved, unmerited. There is nothing we do, nothing we can do, to earn salvation. As the song puts it:
Not what my hands have done
can save my guilty soul;
not what my toiling flesh has borne
can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do
can give me peace with God;
not all my prayers and sighs and tears
can bear my awful load.

Every aspect of salvation comes down to grace: election, justification, regeneration, conversion, redemption, sanctification, glorification -- it is all of grace. You know what Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus:
Ephesians 2:8–9 (NIV84) — 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Titus 3:4–5 (NIV84) — 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.
It is all by grace, by mercy, and not by works.

Do you know our contribution to salvation? Sin. Our only contribution to our salvation is our sin.

B "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). What is salvation? Salvation means grace delivers us from the penalty of sin.

Let me back up a moment and remind you why we need saving. I read the Law of God and its summary this morning. What do they tell us? That we are sinners. That we are fall short of the glory of God. That we are not holy as God is holy. That we fail to love God and neighbor.

And you all know the penalty for this, the punishment, the judgment:
Ezekiel 18:4 (NIV84) — 4 The soul who sins is the one who will die.
Romans 6:23 (NIV84) — 23 For the wages of sin is death.
Scripture further describes the punishment for sin as hell -- a place of burning, a place of eternal fire that is never quenched, a place of worms and maggots, a place of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, a place of outer darkness. That's the punishment we deserve. That's the punishment we have earned.

This is where saving grace comes in: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). Salvation means rescue, deliverance. From what? From the eternal vengeance, judgment, curse, and wrath of God.

C Let there be no doubt, congregation, about God's ability to save. God doesn’t save temporarily. God doesn’t save partially. Our God is a saving God. Meaning, those He saves by grace He saves completely, for all time. He keeps them in salvation. He transforms them. He gives them new life. He makes them born-again. He gives them faith. He brings them to glory.

II Grace Appeared
A "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). Our second point is that God's grace appeared.

Grace appeared. Grace is not just a characteristic of God. Grace is not just a theological word. Grace is personified. The grace of God has appeared. It has become visible. Actually, we should say, He has appeared, He has become visible. We are talking about Jesus and His incarnation. When Jesus came, the grace of God appeared visibly.
2 Timothy 1:10 (NIV84) — 10 but [grace] has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
God's grace has been revealed in the flesh in Christ. Titus 3:4-5 uses similar language:
Titus 3:4–5 (NIV84) — 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us ...
What appeared? The kindness and love of God our Savior. Not what but who: the Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus appeared, the kindness and love of God appeared in the flesh.

Bethlehem is when and where grace took on flesh, when and where kindness took on flesh, when and where love took on flesh. That's when and where grace, kindness, and love visibly appeared. He left behind the glories of heaven. He did not cling to His equality with Father. He emptied Himself. He became a man. He took on flesh. He took the nature of a servant.

Grace appeared. Kindness appeared. Love appeared. The first Christmas Day.

B On this Lord's Supper Sunday we all know why, don't we?! So He would suffer. So He would bleed. So He would die. So He would take our place. So we would be saved. As Jesus said, "The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost" (Lk 19:10).

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). "Brings salvation" is one word in the Greek, an adjective that describes grace. We can say "saving grace." When Jesus came, when Jesus appeared, saving grace appeared. Jesus saves. Jesus saves. Isn't this the message of the Christmas Day angels?
Luke 2:11 (NIV84) — 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Isn't this the message of Simeon when he held the baby Jesus in his arms?
Luke 2:29–31 (NIV84) — 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen [what?] your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people
Simeon looks at Jesus and what does he see? He sees salvation. He sees that grace appeared in the flesh.

III Grace and All Men
A "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). Our third point is that God's grace appeared "to all men."

The phrase "all men" is important, very important. It shows up four times in 1 Timothy and Titus:
1 Timothy 2:3–4 (NIV84) — 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:6 (NIV84) — 6 [Christ Jesus] gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.

1 Timothy 4:10 (NIV84) — 10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

Titus 2:11 (NIV84) — 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
What does God our Savior want? He wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. Peter puts it this way:
2 Peter 3:9 (NIV84) — 9 The Lord is ... patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
God wants all men to repent rather than to perish.

B How does God do this? How does God show this? Very simple really: God's grace appeared "to all men." Others translations of our text say the grace of God is "bringing salvation to all men" (NASB), "bringing salvation for all men" (ESV), "appeared for the salvation of all men" (RSV). The point? The Gospel is good news to all men, for all men, because in it God calls all men to repent and believe and be saved. He calls all men to take for themselves the salvation grace has brought.

What we see is that there is nothing lacking in God's grace. There is nothing lacking in God's love and mercy. Incarnate grace is loaded with salvation, filled to the brim and overflowing with salvation. No, there is nothing sparing or frugal with God's grace. The incarnate grace of God in Christ is sufficient, more than sufficient, to save all men, to rescue all men, from the judgment of hell.

C Now, don't draw the wrong conclusion from this. Many take a theological leap and say this means all men are saved. Yes, the atoning grace of God is more than sufficient to save all men, but this does NOT mean all men are saved. Only those are saved who by grace respond to the Gospel in repentance and faith. And those who don't respond this way are condemned. The problem is not with the extent of God's grace; rather, the problem is with the extent of repentance and faith.

Conclusion
Titus 2:11 (NIV84) — 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

This morning in the Lord's Supper we celebrate this incarnate grace of God. This grace is for you, congregation. To enjoy it, all you need do is repent and believe.
You can e-mail our pastor at: Pastor, Trinity United Reformed Church
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