Transforming Graces, Part 2

  • Tuesday, March 29, 2011
  • Imagine yourself on an island, surrounded by characters and events that seem joyful on the surface, but on closer examination are not so desirable. When you walk to the edge of the island, you can see a wonderful place across the expanse of water, but it is too far to reach on your own. Then, one day, a bridge appeared and offered you an opportunity to leave the island of sin and embark on a journey of reward toward a promised wonderful time with God.

    Sunday’s message from Titus 2 is just such a story. It’s a tale of God’s own masterpiece of design that bridges that unspannable chasm between His holiness and the island where you’ve been held captive. Pastor Tom borrowed from Stuart Briscoe’s comparison of God’s incredible and love-driven construction of just such a bridge, much like the Golden Gate Bridge linking San Francisco with Marin County in California. Let’s examine the basic features of the bridge which illustrate God’s wonderful plan.

    There are two great towers which are the main points of support for the bridge. The first tower represents the grace of God. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.”  Titus 2:11  We don’t deserve this first tower, but it’s appearance brings excitement and radiance. Looking at the foundation of this grace, it is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who serves us in humility.

    That second great tower is hidden until the first is first seen, then it wonderfully appears in the fog of our lives. “Instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”  Titus 2:12-13

    So, the two great towers of the bridge God has built for us are grace and glory. But the bridge isn’t complete until God stretches two amazing cables from shore to shore. As we continue to examine God’s loving plan of salvation, the first cable is that of redemption. How amazing that God stretches a cable to lift us off our island of sin. It’s a cable made of the blood of Christ. “...knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”  1 Peter 1:18-19

    That single cable is immediately joined by a second, one we label sanctification. “...who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”  Titus 2:14  Sanctification is that process whereby God works to do His will and glorification. It is goal oriented training that is designed to make us more like Him.

    God’s plan of salvation is the amazing story of His love-driven work to carry us across the chasm that separates us from Him. The Golden Gate Bridge is considered one of the marvels of man’s efforts to provide a way to travel over the Golden Gate, the entrance to San Francisco Bay. Perhaps this story will help you view the bridge in a different light, as an illustration of God’s wonderful way of bridging the chasm between man and God.


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