Titus 2:11-12 Are You Learning To Say “No”?

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:11-12

Passion is something that drives people to do many different things, both good and bad. It is often what pushes a person to excel in some area of his life.

The world very rarely has any boundaries as to what one can be passionate about and all self-control is abandoned. Focus is placed on self-pleasure and success, with no regards towards others, God or eternity.

Paul reminds Titus that the grace of God came to provide salvation for everyone. This grace teaches them to say “no” to anything that is sinful and against God. It also teaches to be self-controlled and to live a godly life.

Millions of people love the idea of God’s grace to provide salvation for them. They have believed it and chosen to believe in Jesus and be saved.

However, many leave that grace right there at salvation and never move on with God, being changed. They continue to live in sinful ways, fulfilling worldly passions, by watching, listening to, speaking and participating in sinful acts against God and His word. Some churches have even allowed the promotion of ungodliness and worldly passions to be in their church as acceptable to God.

God never intended to save a person only so he can stay in his old sinful ways, fulfilling worldly pleasures. Sin was removed, so that the believer can live a holy life as God had intended it to be. His grace shows a person how to live a self-controlled life that is holy unto Him.

Living a holy life is for today, not for some time in the future in heaven.

Jesus has already done the work of removing sin from your life and opening the door to a relationship with God. This work was done by the grace of God and His love for you. He now expects you to learn from that grace how to live this new life that you have been given.

Instead of holding on to your old worldly and sinful passions, be willing to give them up for what God has for you. Learn to say “No” when temptation comes your way to live as the world does or to go back to sinful passions.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know the grace God has given you; that you will learn from God’s grace on how to live your life; that God will strengthen you to say “No” to worldly passions; and that you will live a holy and upright life before God and this world.

Galatians 5:24 Kill The Flesh

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24

Pleasing self is one of the greatest desires of most people around the world. Everyone wants to be happy, no matter what that means or the process of getting that happiness.

The world does not see anything being wrong or bad, as long as it does not physically and immediately hurt someone else. There is no real moral absolutes according to the world, it is only what pleases self in the moment, because there is also no eternal future.

After talking about being free in Christ Jesus, Paul tells the Galatians that anyone who really does belong to Jesus will have crucified his flesh with its passions and desires.

All sin really is, is doing anything against God or not according to His desires. At the moment a person chooses to do something for himself that God has not called him to do, it is a selfish and fleshly desire, which in turn is sin, sin against God.

These actions can sometimes appear to be good, such as giving to the needy. The giving is not what is bad, but it is the giving in order to look good to someone else or to God that is sin. It becomes about self, not God.

Paul said to crucify the flesh. A crucifixion is a bloody, ugly messy job. There is no mercy upon the one being crucified.

The true believer will strive to kill his fleshly desires, no matter what the cost is or how painful it may be. His heart’s desire will be to please God and to be more like Jesus each day. It is not about self, but about God and others.

As the believer kills his flesh, God will give him life. This will be an abundant life that will spring up from inside and last for eternity.

God has given you life from the moment you chose to follow Jesus. Now be willing to kill the flesh, its desires and passions that work in you to kill you. Live the life God has provided for you, that Jesus has given an example for you.

Do not allow yourself to go back into sin, bringing death back into your life. Let the fruit of the Spirit be abundant in your life welling up into eternal life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that God will give you strength to crucify your fleshly desires; that you will turn to God’s ways of living life; that you will know the life God has given you; and that you will bear the fruit of the Spirit in your life.

Galatians 5:24 Kill The Flesh

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:25

Every person is born with an innate desire for sinful activities. Given the choice, people will turn towards sin and will enjoy it for a time.

The mindset of the world is to just do it. No one is to deny himself any pleasure that can be grabbed onto. To deny oneself of a pleasure, is to be harmful to one’s self. It is uncomfortable and not needed, according to the world. Every one is to live life to the fullest, whatever that means.

Paul had just listed what living by the flesh looks like. Then he showed what living by the Spirit looks like. Now he says that anyone who is living by the Spirit of God will have crucified or killed off his flesh and its desires.

Following Jesus means that one has become a new creation, a new and different person. This can be seen in how they think and act, what they say and do.

The world lives in a way that it is all about pleasing self, living in sinful ways with no regrets. All sin comes down to two types of selfishness. It is selfishness against God or selfishness against others. Too often, many believers in the church are willing to continue to live in sinful ways. There is no difference between them and the world.

The true believer is no longer living for self, but for God and for others. He is willing to kill off all selfish and sinful desires and actions within himself.

Every believer must be willing to turn away from every sin, regardless of how ‘little’ or ‘big’ it is. This must be done in a violent, crucifying manner, killing all sin and its desires.

As you take a look at your life, take note of the sinful ways in your life. Are you willing, as a believer, to live with those sins? If so, you are denying Christ and His power in your life.

If you are not willing to live with those sins, then crucify them. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen you to destroy sinful desires. Allow God’s word to so fill you as to be a double-edged sword that will kill of all sinful desires in your life.

Have you killed the flesh in you?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live your entire life for God; that God will strengthen you to crucify the fleshly desires in your life; and that you will live to serve God with all of your life.

Fruit Of The Spirit: Self-Control

Self control word

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

Today I will be looking at the last fruit of the Spirit–self-control. Thank you, if you have been following this little bible study on the fruit of the Spirit. If you have not been following and just joined, you can find the other studies here: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness.

This final fruit of the Spirit is the culmination of all of the rest. Without the rest of the fruits, one cannot have this last one. It is one that many people do not really want to talk about or think that they already have it, though most people struggle in this area. Self-control is being able to control one’s own thoughts and actions. It is taking responsibility for yourself.

Self-control is often looked at in the areas of exercising and dieting. Very few people exercise good self-control in these areas and will admit it. However, self-control needs to be exercised in many other areas of life.

Hole in wall

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

Solomon points out the value of self-control, or rather the destruction of the lack of self-control. In his time cities had a wall surrounding the city to protect it from the enemy. If there was a hole in the wall, their protection was gone. The wall was then worthless and the city could be overrun.

In the same way, a person who does not have self-control in his life has a hole broken through. Not having self-control allows the enemy to enter into your life. It gives the devil a foothold into your life, causing you to breakdown and choose to sin, rather than flee the sin.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19

One are that many people lack self-control in is with their speaking and listening. Many are slow to listen and very quick to get angry. They are quick to strike back with words, cursing someone, when something does not go their way, rather than trying to understand and listen.

Angry person

In order to follow what James is telling us to do, we must have self-control. You have to make a choice to listen. You have to make a choice to be slow to speak and not become angry so quickly. This takes practice over time, because it goes against the human nature.

Immediately many people will rise up now and say that they cannot do this. It is in their nature to sin, that they have no self-control. This is true, if they are relying upon their own strength and abilities. Man does not have any self-control in himself. However, it does not have to stay that way.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:11-12

Titus tells us that God’s grace teaches us to say ‘No’ to sin and to live a godly, upright life that is self-controlled. We have the perfect teacher–God’s Holy Spirit.

Blocking hand

However, just like children in school, we often do not want to learn. Some will say that they cannot do it, it is not in their nature or some other excuse. This is true if you say that, but it does not have to remain true. You can change.

Remember that in Christ you are a new creation, a new person. You have the ability to say ‘No’ to sin and run away from all temptation. However, to do this, you must be in control of yourself. You have to conscientiously choose to not sin or walk into sin.

In your own strength and power this is difficult, even impossible to do. You cannot live a self-controlled, sinless life without God’s help and power.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Another version says that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. God is there to give you all the strength you need to do what needs to be done. This is not just physically doing things, but also strength to do the not doing things, to turn away from sin.

Pushing a bolder

In yourself, you cannot stay away from sin, but in Christ you have that ability. There is no reason for you to continue in sin. Christ has made you a new creation. All you have to do is live as the new creation, live as Jesus lived. Every time temptation pops its head up to cause you to sin, turn to God for strength and a way out of that temptation. Refuse to sin. Allow His Holy Spirit to guide you in the right path.

But all of this is a choice you have to make. It does not come automatically. It is not built into you. You have to be self-controlled. The great news is that with God’s Holy Spirit you can have that self-control to make the right choices every time.

Two choices

Give your life over to God and allow Him to be in control. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and help you live a godly life here on this earth. As you are filled with His Holy Spirit, you will have to bear some fruit.

God does not want you to fail, so He has given you everything you need to be successful in walking a holy, righteous, sinless life. You must now make the choice to accept it and live in it.

As you are filled with His Holy Spirit, you will show His love, which will lead to joy bringing about peace, which leads to forbearance/patience, bringing on kindness and goodness, which will make you faithful and gentle. Once all of these fruits are in place, you will have self-control to keep in them and in God’s will.

Be the man or woman God has called you to be in Christ Jesus. Do not conform to the ways of this world any longer and remain in sin.

This finishes looking at the fruit of the Spirit. Next week I will bring this study to a finish with an overview of all that we have studied and what it means to you as a believer. Please feel free to comment and/or share this post with anyone you think that could use it.