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God Is at Work in You

God Is at Work in You

By: Alistair Begg - June 25, 2023

The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions.

Titus 2:11-12

The main problem with our lives is not that we’re unhappy or have made a couple of minor missteps. Our diagnosis isn’t merely that we have some existential gaps that just need to be filled by a new hobby or an outlet for charitable service. It’s not that we’re lost and just need a little bit of direction or that we have low self-esteem and need to think more positively. Biblically speaking, our problem is actually this: we are by nature “foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another” (Titus 3:3).

That’s quite a condition to find ourselves in. The problem goes far deeper and spreads much wider than we like to think. Whether we are three or eighty-three years old when the Lord Jesus Christ breaks into our lives and saves us, our state before God until then is one of utter hopelessness. In His grace, however, God washes us and renews us through the Holy Spirit and causes us to become “heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7). God’s grace is far greater than we tend to imagine!

But once we are “justified by his grace” (Titus 3:7), what then? God goes to work, progressively and incrementally, to rid us of our foolishness and disobedience. God’s grace comes to us as we are, but it does not leave us as we are, for it teaches us “to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives” (Titus 2:12).

Imagine a new brother in Christ named George. He’s been a Christian for two days. Last week, George was deceived, he was destructive, he was filled with hate, he was lost in idolatry, and he was committed to sensuality. Suddenly, George met Christ. The Spirit of God regenerated him, and now George finds himself in the church. George is saved but he is not yet the finished article. No, he is a work in progress. Of course he still has some messes that need to be cleaned up. Of course he has some confusion in his mind about what following Christ means for his life.

All of us are like George to one degree or another. No matter how many years we’ve believed in Jesus, we are all works in progress. We need the Bible to guide us. We need other members of Christ’s body to help us along. We need to trust that God will do what He has promised and finish the good work He began in us (Philippians 1:6).

Progress might seem slow at times, but with His Spirit at work, you will make it all the way home. Until then, reflect on your condition apart from Christ, for it will humble you. Remember what God’s grace did in saving you, for it will encourage you. See the ways in which the Spirit has grown you in godliness, for it will reassure you. And ask the Lord, in His grace, to keep on changing you, bit by bit, as you wait for the appearing of your Savior and the day when you are perfected in glory (Titus 2:13-14).

About the Author(s)
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Alistair Begg

Alistair Begg has been in pastoral ministry since 1975. Following graduation from The London School of Theology, he served eight years in Scotland at both Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh and Hamilton Baptist Church. In 1983, he became the senior pastor at Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio. He has written several books and is heard daily and weekly on the radio program, Truth For Life. His Daily Devotionals are presented here via a syndication agreement.
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