I read a post by a devout Christian who said: “Some falsely teach that the Christian concept of salvation by grace is the equivalent of a license to sin. This is absolutely false, because Biblical grace trains us to renounce ungodliness!”
Take special note of the last phrase: “…because Biblical grace trains us to renounce ungodliness.”
He is quoting Titus 2:11-12 which, in the ESV, reads: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness…”
But let’s read Titus 2:11-15, in context, and from a version not so watered-down:
“For the all-resurrecting grace of Elohim is revealed to all men; and it teaches us to deny that which is without Elohim and worldly lusts, and to live in this world in sobriety and in uprightness and in the Fear of Elohim, looking for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of the great Elohim and our Life-giver, Y’shua the Mashiyach who gave himself for us that he might recover us from all iniquity and purify for himself a new people who are zealous in good works. These things speak and encourage and point out with all authority; and let no one despise you.” (AENT).
Here, the verse quoted says “it teaches us to deny that which is without Elohim and worldly lusts”! In this verse, Paul, in his letter to Titus, is NOT simply saying “Biblical grace trains us to renounce ungodliness” as if “grace” somehow negates one’s actions and magically renders all personal actions “godly”! Not at all! Paul is saying instead that “grace” is a gift for all people who accept it and become zealous in good works!
Paul is saying that people have been given a chance to abandon, to deny, that “which is without Elohim and worldly lusts”! Indeed, Paul goes on to say that those who are thus “purified” for YHWH are those who are “zealous in good works”! That means that Christians who have been so taught, are, or should be ZEALOUS to obey God! Not by “demands” or by “law”, but by the simple desire to please Him! (Leviticus 20:7 for example which reads: “And you shall set yourselves apart, and shall be set-apart, for I am יהוה your Elohim” – ISR). Indeed, Leviticus 20:8 goes on to say: “and you shall guard [My statutes] and do them. I am יהוה, who sets you apart.” Who, being “zealous”, would not want to guard and do God’s statutes?
Well, Christianity teaches that “grace” is some “get out of jail free” card – in Christianity there is no 7th-day Sabbat, no observance of the annual feasts, and no obedience, so absolutely YES, the Christian concept of “grace” is most certainly the equivalent of a license to sin! Few, if any, Christians are taught that “grace” only means that one’s sins are forgiven only up to that point that they accept the atoning death of the Messiah for their prior sins! Upon acceptance, they are obligated to live a life “sin-free” as best they can! The term “grace”, simply is NOT a “permit to continue to sin and be forever forgiven”! I’m sorry to break that news to you , but “grace” is not a blanket permit!
Folks, the fact that God said, repeatedly, “BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY”, did not change just because the Messiah was sent to die and atone for all who accepted Him! People have always been expected to live their lives in a manner pleasing to God! THAT DID NOT CHANGE with the death and resurrection of the Messiah! The phrase in Titus 2 which in some English versions reads “Biblical grace trains us to renounce ungodliness”, is not something that “just happens” to Christians! It is something that is supposed to be manifested in Christians as a DESIRE to abandon the things of the world and to live a life pleasing to God! We are told what pleases God! It is in scripture! But Christians, for the most part, are taught that all behaviors are “forgiven” because of this misunderstanding of the term “grace”.