By Scott Shifferd, Jr
Grace does teach us. Paul wrote to Titus stating,
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age," (Titus 2:11-12).
Grace teaches us to reject evil and secular desires. Grace has a verb form used 23 times in the New Testament. In Colossians 2:13, the act of grace is translated "forgiveness" for all of our trespasses, and that forgiving grace is to be given to one anther (Col. 3:13). Yet, that forgiving grace teaches us even more about facing temptations and denying ungodliness.
What does Jesus' forgiveness teach us about sin? Christ has saved us from sin for more than forgiving us, but also to save us from being enslaved to sin. God's forgiveness teaches us not to continue in the sin of which we were released. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!" (Rom. 6:1-2a). If we continue in sin, then have we allowed God's grace to teach us?
The Christian must see God's grace as more than salvation from past sins, but also a deliverance from coming temptations. Christ forgave us from past sins to keep us from future sins. Christians must see the extent of personal sins, and the loving grace that forgave a few sins is as great as many sins (Luke 7:40-43, cf. 2 Cor. 5:14-15).
Jesus died so that His followers are moved more by Christ's love and forgiving grace than by selfish and fleshly desires that enslave so many. The many, who are enslaved to sin, obey such evil because sin is allowed to reign in the moral body (Rom. 6:12). Yet, the mind set on Christ is taught by grace and compelled by love to overcome all compulsions to sin (Rom. 8:5-7).