Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
May 11, 2014
God’s elect are a blood bought and blood bathed people (Zechariah 13:1; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Titus 3:4-7).
· The Lord willing, Missionary Daniel Parks (Saint Croix, US Virgin Islands) will be here to preach the gospel on Tuesday, June 10th.
· On Sunday evening, June 22nd, Pastor Bruce Crabtree (Sovereign Grace Church, New Castle, IN) is scheduled to preach here.
Nursery Duty this Week
Today: Alexis Mason (AM) — Dee Dee Raneri (PM) — Tuesday: Jennifer Pruter
O Lord, Our Hearts Engage — Don Fortner
(Tune: #33 — Stand Up, and Bless the Lord — SM)
1. Behold Your people Lord,
Assembled, waiting here;
Sweet tokens of Your grace afford,
Your family to cheer.
2. O Lord, our hearts engage,
A precious Christ reveal;
Increase our faith — our fears assuage,
And wounded spirits heal.
3. Your hungry children feed;
Your wanderers restore;
Give grace to help in time of need,
From Your exhaustless store.
4. Assist Your preacher, Lord,
Salvation to proclaim;
Some blessing to our souls afford,
And glorify Your name.
“They were both naked, and not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25). — Neither needed they be. Sin and shame...came in together. Clothes are the ensigns of our sin, and covers of our shame. To be proud of them is as great folly as for a beggar to be proud of his rags, or a thief of his halter. As the prisoner, looking on his irons, thinks on his theft, so we, looking on our garments, should think on our sins.
John Trapp (1601-69)
“Turning the Grace of God into Lasciviousness”
Jude warns us to beware of “ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Notice that there are no charges of immorality. Were their lives notorious, for any breaches of the moral law, such open profligacy would have been mentioned. Were their conduct been notoriously corrupt, in any flagrant acts of licentiousness, they would soon have be discovered. Jude here specifically warns us of those self-righteous legalists who scandalously charge faithful gospel preachers with antinomianism, with promoting licentiousness.
These proud promoters of works religion are called “ungodly men,” because their doctrine is directly leveled against the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. They turn “the grace of God into lasciviousness,” not by using grace as an excuse for ungodly behavior, but by daring to charge the grace of God that brings salvation with leading to lasciviousness, asserting that the gospel of God’s free, absolute, unconditional grace promotes evil behavior among those who believe it. They turn the grace of God into lasciviousness by asserting that the glorious gospel of God’s free grace, which proclaims free, full, complete, irrevocable pardon to sinners through the blood and righteousness of Christ alone, opens the flood-gates of sin (Romans 3:8; 6:1).
“Turning the grace of God into lasciviousness” is accompanied with “denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” They do not openly deny God’s being, or the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again. Were that the case, they could slither into the church. They deny God our Savior by denying the absolute efficacy of his free grace, teaching that we must add our righteousness to Christ’s righteousness, if we would be saved. By denying the absolute efficacy of God’s purpose and work, by denying the absolute efficacy of the Father’s purpose and love, the Son’s atonement, and the Spirit’s call, by denying that our Lord Jesus Christ actually redeemed and saves all God’s elect by his finished work of redemption, they deny the very being of God.
All of God’s people in this world maintain good works. There is no such thing as a believer who does not honor Christ by works of obedience to him. “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24; Romans 6:18). God has ordained that his people walk in good works (Ephesians 2:8-10); and what God has ordained shall come to pass. All believers live in godliness and walk in good works. There are no exceptions. But in this third chapter of Titus, Paul is dealing with the matter of our responsibility. It is the responsibility of all who believe to carefully maintain good works (v. 8). We must be careful to do so, because we are not naturally inclined to do so. Good works are contrary to the flesh, opposed by Satan, and disadvantageous in the world. Therefore, we must be careful to maintain good works.
Good works cannot produce salvation in whole, or in part. Christ alone is our Savior, and grace alone is the cause of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5). And, though it is contrary to popular opinion, good works do not go before us into heaven to prepare for our eternal happiness and reward there. Our works follow us into heaven; but they do not go before us (Revelation 14:13). They shall follow us, not as a basis of reward, but as our everlasting tribute to the grace of God for the glory of his name. Still, good works are necessary (Titus 314). Here are three things for which good works are necessary.
1. Good works are necessary because they are ordained of God as a means whereby we may honor him in this world (Ephesians 2:10). God’s elect live in the world with an eye to his glory in all things. We want to live in a manner that demonstrates our gratitude to him for all his mercy and grace to us in Christ Jesus. We desire to live so that we may both honor him before men and promote his honor among men (Matthew 5:16; John 15:8; 1 Peter 2:12).
2. By maintaining good works, we adorn the doctrine of Christ, adorn our profession of faith, and make our calling and election sure (Titus 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 2:10). Good works are not the basis of our assurance (Read John 21:17). The basis of our assurance is faith in Christ, and only faith in Christ (2 Timothy 2:12; Hebrews 11:1-2). Our good works make our faith sure to others. As the fruits of grace, good works demonstrate to other people the reality of our faith. This is the only evidence we can give to the world of our faith; and this is the only evidence of our faith the world can understand. We can show our faith to the world around us only by our works (James 2:18).
3. We must maintain good works for the good of others. Good works are works performed by us for the benefit of other people, especially of God’s elect (Matthew 25:31-40; Philippians 2:4-5). Good works, performed by God’s saints, are a means of winning others to Christ (1 Peter 3:1-2). And good works are very profitable to others as an example for them to follow (1 Timothy 4:12). The believer, by his example, is to take the hands of his weaker, younger brothers and sisters in Christ, and lead them in the path of obedience to Christ.