Paul cuts it straight with Titus and the Cretan believers (Titus 2:11-14):
For 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-group who is His very own, eager to do what is good.
1. God’s grace completely dominates the life of a genuine Christian from their conversion through their glorification. While sometimes briefly ignored, the tenacious nature of God’s pursuing grace cannot be quenched. It will be embraced by true believers and outwardly manifested through their grace-empowered obedience.
2. God’s grace has wonderful and purposeful boundaries. These boundaries are akin to the impregnable and yet translucent walls of an awe-inspiring crystal palace. Grace’s boundaries let the Light of God’s awesome freedom vibrantly shine through and do not begrudgingly offer a distant porthole of unattainable light as do the concrete and opaque walls of Law.
3. God’s grace empowers and instructs Christians to live in the reality of a sinful world with Spirit-empowered godliness. Rather than allow indulgence in the fleeting pleasures of a sinful world through sin-driven ungodliness, God’s grace offers and completes true transformation and restoration of God’s Image in the life of a believer.
4. God’s grace instructs the Christian in spite of failure. However, the divinely apportioned boundaries of God’s grace cannot be crossed and yet allow the Christian to claim he or she is still living “in grace.” When a Christian chooses to flirt with the world they have chosen to step through the Light-deflecting walls and live again in the guilt-ridden boundaries of Law’s slavery, which will only condemn and frustrate the grace of God within them instead of edify their souls. Genuine Christians cannot do this for the majority of their earthly life and genuinely call Jesus, “Lord.”
5. “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). Why? Because the believer who has fully embraced the pleasurable contentment of living life to its fullest within the boundaries of God’s grace is indeed enjoying something money can’t buy.