Let’s dissect Titus 2.11-14.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the 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 wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (NIV)
God’s grace makes salvation available to everyone (11). The NIV isn’t as strong as the Greek, which is almost universalistic; “saving all people.” (ALMOST universalistic.)
Don’t downplay the saving power of God’s grace, don’t put artificial limits on it. God’s central concern, his central mission, is saving his rebellious creation. Don’t be surprised to see salvation in unexpected places, expressed in unexpected ways. As the great songwriter Brian Johnson tells us, OUR GOD IS THE GOD WHO RESCUES & SAVES (“Jesus, You Have Won Me”).
Grace makes disciples. It “trains us to reject ungodliness & worldly desires & to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly” (12). Again, the NIV misses the nuance of the Greek, rendering παιδεύω with “teach”. That verb = “training someone in a discipline”. It implies a longer, ongoing process rather than a one-time event.
Grace makes us disciples. That’s the opposite of what our human nature expects, isn’t it? We think that discipleship comes from rules and ceaseless effort on our parts, it’s about OUR work.
HOW does grace make us disciples?
One thought on “Grace & Discipleship”
This is a good reminder. As my mentor has told me before, ‘I never need to remind those involved in ministry to work harder’. To answer your question though, I feel like grace is the heart of discipleship in that it provides the basis of our relationship with the Lord. When we abide/ dwell/ stay in that relationship, we grow. The disciplines are an integral part of that process though. Without grace, the relationship doesn’t exist, without the disciplines, it can’t grow.