December 19 (Daily reading: Titus) (Titus 2:11-14) “Our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus … gave Himself for us to redeem us.” What is the significance of this gift of Himself? First, it is the gift of His grace, “bringing salvation to all men (people).” He redeems us “from every lawless deed” and purifies us. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9, NIV). Paul described this grace: “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy” (3:5). We have “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” (Rom. 3:22)
Second, it is the gift of becoming God’s people. Christ redeemed us that we might be “for Himself a people for His own possession” (2:14). The French verb for redeem is “racheter,” which means to buy again. We belong to God by creation (He made us), and we belong to Him (again) by redemption (Christ paid the price for our sin).
Third, it is the gift of a new way of living. Being redeemed and being His possession means that we have changed! His grace teaches us “to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.” With God in our lives through Christ, we have become by nature godly and not ungodly! This means that we should also be “zealous for good deeds” (2:14).
Finally, it is the gift of hope! We are “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (2:13). “Being justified by His grace” means that we have been “made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (3:7). He promised: “I will come again and receive you to Myself” (Jn. 14:3). –