Saying No to Ungodliness

"The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 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 glorious appearing 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." Titus 2:11-14
While the grace of God brings the forgiveness of sins, it also brings somethings else which is often left out of the presentation of the gospel and deemphasized in the Christian life today - namely the grace of sanctification - the grace of self-control - the grace of overcoming worldly passions - the grace of becoming a person eager to do what is right and good.

Because of the grace of God, the Christian is quite capable of exercising self-control in overcoming the passions of the flesh. There is no sin habit which cannot be overcome. The thoughts and emotions are under the Christians control. One can block out certain thoughts and emotions, killing the passions of the flesh. This is the power of the regenerate nature. That is why "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God."1John 3:9

One area of self-control is the exercise of humility in submission to authority - even secular authority. I "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another." Titus 3:1-3 And even consider also what preceeds Paul's instruction is Titus 2:11-14 above, namely "Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,  and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive." Titus 2:9,10 It is a natural passion of the flesh to rebell against authority. This attitude is also predominant in the feminist movement, rejecting the husband's legitimate role of authority over his wife. Younger women need to be trained by mature Christian women "to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."Titus 2:3,4

Older women likewise need to exercise self-control "to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good." Titus 2:3 And "the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives." 1Tim 5:6

Older men must be "temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance." Titus 2:2 And young men must be self-controlled especially with respect to passions for violence and sexual passions. "It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God." 1Thess 4:3-5

Another area of self-control is overcoming  the passions of worldly ambition, the seeking of material security, and the worries which come along with such attitudes, and the converse of just being plain lazy. For while discontentment leads to working too much for things outside the kingdom of God, contentment can lead to laziness. Without self-control the flesh can have its way in either case. "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." 1Thess 4:11,12 But keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Heb 13:5

Crucify Your Sinful Nature by Faith

"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires." Gal 5:24
Do you belong to Christ? What passions and desires need to be crucified in your life? What goals and ambitions? Paul writes, "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1Cor 9:25-27

Are you still a slave to your passions and desires, or are you passions and desires a slave to you? A dispassionate person is one who does not allow his feelings to control his perspective and behavior. Do not let sinful feelings define you. We walk by faith, not by feelings. Reject what is evil and hold on to what is good. By faith overcome. "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." 1John 5:3-5 The Christian is no longer in bondage to sin. Nor is there excuse to do so. "Reckon yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus." Rom 6:11 A crucified nature is one which is dead, having lost its power of control.  "When we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." Rom 7:5,6 Therefore "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Gal 5:16

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources