14 “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. 15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.” (Titus 3:14–15 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul brings his letter to Titus to a conclusion focusing on the believer’s good works accompanying salvation. It is how he began this epistle when he wrote, “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,” (Titus 1:1 (ESV).
Knowledge of the truth, which another way of saying justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone, results in good works or sanctification (Eph. 2:8-10). Without accompanying sanctification which evidence the believer’s justification, an individual’s so-called faith is dead (James 2:14-26). In other words, sanctification follows justification.
“Justification is based entirely upon the work of Christ wrought for us; sanctification is principally a work wrought in us. Justification is a deliverance from punishment; sanctification is a capacity to worship Him acceptably. Justification is by a righteousness without us; sanctification is by a holiness wrought in us. Justification is by Christ as Priest; sanctification is by Christ as King,” explains A.W. Pink in The Doctrine of Sanctification.
Paul described sanctification with the words good works, fruit and help in today’s text. Without sanctification, which is a dedication for holiness and godliness, the individual is unfruitful. Jesus said that by their fruits you will know who is a true believer (Matt. 7:15-20; Gal. 5:16-24).
“Since we are created “in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10), every Christian (who is justified by faith alone) will begin to obey the commandments of God, however hesitantly and flawed that obedience might be. This is true not because we have a divine spark within us that responds to God’s grace but because “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13),” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.
“Since our sanctification is every bit as much an act of God’s grace as our justification, all those who have been justified by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone, will live according to all of God’s commandments. Since our obedience (like our sin) is covered by the blood and righteousness of Christ (making our imperfect works truly good), our heavenly Father delights in our feeble efforts to do good. And knowing this to be the case creates within us the desire to obey all the more,” concludes Dr. Sproul.
May the Lord be glorified in all who claim Him to be their Savior, God and King. Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!