11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
Please notice that God’s grace is not just a SALVATION-OFFERING grace. It is also a TEACHING grace. We do not naturally know how to live as Christians, how to work out into daily experience the salvation we have been given. We need to be taught; we need to see ourselves as students of God’s grace.
“But I HATED school!”, some might say. Get over it. Whether you had a lousy English teacher or a grouchy math teacher — your instructor in the Christian life is God the Holy Spirit (see John 14-16 for some details).
Who sets the curriculum for these grace-lessons? God does, of course. He is the One who knows what we need to know. I am deeply impressed by Flannery O’Connor statement when she said, “The high-school English teacher will be fulfilling his responsibility if he furnishes the student a guided opportunity, through the best writing of the past, to come, in time, to an understanding of the best writing of the present. And if the student finds that this is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.”
Are you allowing God the Holy Spirit to FORM your tastes to the things of God? In our next post we will notice two areas in which our tastes desperately need to be formed! (to be continued)