11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Titus 2:11-13 NKJV
In our last post, we looked at the chastening of the Lord. We saw that God isn't using trauma, terror, tragedy, or turmoil to chasten or instruct and correct His children. That God is a Good Father who would never harm or hurt His own. It is absolutely vital to know and understand who God is and what He is like.
Understanding who God is, what His character is, and how He treats us is a vital truth. At the same time, seeing passages that reveal that God corrects leads us to a question. A rather valid question I might add.
Does the concept that God corrects His people, run contrary to Grace? Is it counter to Righteousness and the Gospel that God instructs and leads us into truth and away from the wrong, the error, the false? Does it bring to mind the question that God who said He wouldn't remember our sins, has to remember our sins if He is correcting and instructing us?
These are important questions that need to be answered. The first thing we must establish is our Righteousness in Christ and the truth that Jesus has completely paid for our sins and failures. Because Jesus paid for our sins we never have to.
Jesus completely paid the price at the Cross. His once for all time sacrifice met and fulfilled all the claims of divine justice. Jesus shed blood, death and burial was a more than enough payment. Even though we still miss it, blow it, just plain sin, we are not required to make up for it. We aren't required to make additional payments on account of our sins and failures. Jesus' blood was more than enough.
Because of Jesus' Finished Work, God is satisfied. There is no longer any demand for additional payments. There is no demand for further punishment for sins, iniquities, and transgressions. See how Isaiah reveals this powerful and complete sacrifice and once for all payment for sins.
God is not punishing us when we sin. He punished sins in the body of Jesus on the Cross. The amazing blessedness of God's great gift of Righteousness is that God no longer imputes our sins to our account. He remembers our sins no more. He has forgiven us once for all time. This is the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus.
What we must renew our minds to is that correction and instruction are not punishment. Now if you sin, there can be natural consequences. This doesn't mean God brought those upon you. Your own choices and actions did that. Also, understand God isn't punishing you or angry at you.
Understanding correction and instruction aren't punishment, we must grow to understand that because God loves us He corrects us. If He corrects us doesn't that mean He is remembering our sins? No that doesn't mean that.
What we must understand is that spiritual growth and development and maturity have no bearing on our salvation. What I mean is this. Salvation, redemption, being made Righteous, freely forgiven once for all time are what Christ gave us the moment we believed. Salvation and redemption have nothing to do with spiritual growth. Spiritual growth and maturity are not automatic.
We have believers who have been saved for decades, and they still hold onto grudges, harbor resentment, gossip, look down on others, and are not joyful. Does this mean they aren't really saved? Of course not. Fruit is developed, fruit is grown. If you plant a fruit tree, but never tend to it, never give it water and such it won't produce. It doesn't change the fact that it is still a fruit tree.
Because of Jesus God isn't imputing sin to our account. That is, God isn't holding our faults over our heads, demanding we do better, withholding His goodness and love and blessing until we do. The blessings, answered prayer, favor, and goodness are already ours because of Jesus. He blesses us because He is Good not because we are.
Therefore our sins and shortcomings are not remembered. We aren't out of fellowship, out of intimacy with God because we fail. That said because of God's great love for us He wants us to grow up. God sees us. He sees our motives and actions and words.
God sees us, He first sees us Righteous, and rejoices because we carry the fragrance of Jesus. As our Father, He sees us when we aren't our best. Because He wants our best, He comes to us in love and brings correction.
Our two text reveals how He corrects. He corrects us with the Word. He corrects us with His Grace. His great Grace upon us shows us a better way. Correction is a good thing because it helps us grow up, helps mature us, and leads us to be a bigger blessing to ourselves and others.
Correction and instruction are never contrary to Grace. His Grace teaches us and instructs us. Not man-made tradition, but His Grace leads us into all truth. Is this progressive sanctification? No! We were already sanctified when we believed. This is progressive maturity. God's Word and Grace, correct, lead, guide, and instructs us, and we progressively mature outwardly into what Christ already made us inwardly.
In summation, a Good God, a loving Father instructs and corrects us because He loves us. He doesn't punish us. He doesn't use evil to teach or train us. His Word and His Grace bring instruction and correction when needed. None of this is condemnation or the idea that the Spirit "convicts" us. Conviction is what the Spirit does for the World because they have rejected Jesus.
The Spirit reminds us of our Righteousness. God reminds us of our identity. God shows us who we are and whose we are. The Word shows us the better way. Grace received empowers us to grow up in Him. As children of God, the Spirit leads us into all truth and guides us into the way we should go in our day-to-day life. God loves us unconditionally and eternally. He desires we grow in Grace and in the knowledge of Jesus.