Titus 2:11-14 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
I often hear people say that Christianity isn’t a bunch of do’s and don’ts but what they most often mean is they do not want to hear anything that will restrain them from what their flesh wants to do. Certainly Christianity is about a personal relationship with God and being a partaker of His divine life and nature not a manmade list of do’s and don’ts. We cannot add our own requirements to the Word of God but that doesn’t mean God has no requirements of His own. When people teach that grace negates the need for us to follow God’s commandments of what to do and what not to do (John 14:21), thinking they are keeping us from legalism, they are actually teaching what can sear a person’s conscience.
True grace teaches both a denial of improper things as well as a direction into proper things. The text in Titus 2:11-14 even describes the grace of God as a teacher of things not to do (“denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,” or DON’TS) and of things to do (“we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world,” or DO’S). Having His life and nature will cause us to do certain things and refrain from doing other things.
The Bible warns of a time when ungodly men who have crept into the Church (through stealth) will turn (twist; distort; pervert) the grace of God into lasciviousness (licentiousness, absence of restraint; unbridled lust; shamelessness) or a reason to justify their living unrestrained or with no restraints. That day is upon us and we need to spend time in the Word of His grace (Acts 20:32) to be able to detect it.
We have to know that any rule, command, or principle of conduct from God to DO or to NOT DO something always has God’s heart in them and are meant for our good. They do not take away good but they take away evil and keep us from evil. They are always to enhance our relationship to Him and others. Like the commands in the Garden to Adam and Eve, “Freely eat,” and “Do not eat,” God had Adam and Eve’s best interest in mind. We can trust the One Who not only loves us more than any human being could but Who is Love (1 John 4:8).