TITUS 2:14: “He gave himself for us to set us free from every wrong and to cleanse us so that we could be his special people who are enthusiastic about doing good deeds.” (ISV)
OBSERVATION: Am I enthusiastic about doing good deeds? Paul exhorts Titus, reminding him that this is the character and quality of God’s special people. In fact, it is the reason we have been redeemed and set free from both the penalty and power of sin. Paul writes the same thing to the Ephesians in these familiar verses,
- “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV)
We have not been saved because of our good works. We have been saved by grace, through faith – alone! Yet, His grace was not given to us so that we could simply be forgiven and go to heaven. This amazing grace was given to us to transform the way we live. We have become new creations in Christ Jesus so that we can be enthusiastic about doing His good deeds. And these good deeds have been prepared for us “beforehand”. In other words, God’s will for us is to discover and walk in the good works and purposes that He created for us – before we were ever born – even before the foundation of the world!
When you put this into perspective you realize – this is really big deal! God has thought about me, created a plan for me, and given His Son for me – so that I could become all that He has prepared for me. Yet, achieving His purposes in our lives is not automatic. There is a battle that is always raging between our old sinful nature, and our new nature in Christ. This is what the Bible calls the flesh and the spirit. We are fully pardoned and cleansed from our sin, but we still live in a fallen world, and our bodies and minds still have a bent toward this world and an attitude of selfishness and sin. Yet, in the midst of this we are reminded – we have the victory in Jesus Christ!
- “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:21-25 NKJV)
And Paul continues with this thought when he proclaims the source of our victory in Jesus Christ. It is our daily walk and dependence upon the Holy Spirit!
- “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4 NKJV)
So let’s break it down. Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus set us free from the penalty and power of sin – so we can live as His special people, filled and empowered with the Holy Spirit, eager and enthusiastic about doing good deeds. As long as we live in the power of the Spirit, we walk in His freedom and good works. When we begin to rely on our own strength or understanding, we regress toward selfishness and the old works of our life before Christ.
So the key is – “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit!” (Galatians 5:25 NKJV).
The victorious life in Christ, the life of enthusiasm and good works, is a life that daily depends upon the power of the Holy Spirit, and daily follows the leading of the Holy Spirit! What we could not do because of the weakness of our old sinful and selfish nature, we are empowered to do by the completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and the recreating and empowering work of the Holy Spirit in our lives!
Lord, thank you for providing for both my pardon and my freedom through Jesus death on the cross and the power of His resurrection. Help me to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, and to live as Your special people – eager and enthusiastic to do good works. Forgive me for the times when I trust in anything other than the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ. Open my spiritual eyes to both see and enter into Your purposes and good works for my life today!
In Jesus Name!