The last verse in the Bible is a profound one. Have you ever thought about that? God has given us His Word, 66 books in all. The Bible is a large book, with life-changing truth on every page, but have you ever considered what God has left us with on the last page? I think the last verse of Scripture is crucial for our walk with the Lord. I believe God was very intentional about it. Let’s chat about that verse.
The end of all 66 books of Scripture, the culmination of the Old and New Testaments, the final send off from God’s Word, is for the grace of Jesus to be with us. God leaves us with a profound, “Live in the grace found in my Son.” That, dear friend, is a summary of the Bible. Everything is about Jesus. The Old Testament points us to the grace found in Jesus. The New Testament shows us the grace found in Jesus. The final verse tells us to live in that grace. What a loving design of God!
I want to take us to Titus 2 to give us two practical ways to live this out. If God has placed such a high level of importance on the grace found in Jesus, how do we live in that grace? The apostle Paul can show us how! He shows us, in Titus 2, two powerful things that God’s grace in Jesus does for us. If we tap into both, our lives are going to radically change. That is exactly what grace is meant to do.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” (Titus 2:11-12)
The apostle Paul shows us two things that grace does for us. First, it offers salvation. It forgives all sin and amazingly brings us back to God. Second, it trains us to renounce ungodliness and teaches us how to live godly lives. This is powerful. We often treasure the first aspect of grace without ever considering the second. Both are life-changing and crucial for our life of faith. They go hand in hand and perfectly compliment each other. We sell grace short if we live in one aspect without the other. Dig further into both with me.
The grace of God brings salvation to all who place their faith in Jesus. To put it simply, the grace of God forgives all of our sin and makes us clean before a holy God. Jesus is the Lamb of God who “takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). God’s grace wipes our slates clean, forgiving even our worst mistakes. Our destructive past can no longer hinder our relationship with God. What we deserve has been replaced with a free gift of grace.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
What our sin has earned is death, or an eternal separation from God. What we have been given, however, is life. We have been given the gift of eternity with God. Grace is the only thing that can make this possible. That is a glorious thing. We should treasure this grace. God tells us to live in it. He reminded us of this amazing reality as He breathed out the last verse of the Bible. So do you feel dirty, guilty, shameful, and possibly even far from God? There is a free gift of grace! This grace forgives! This grace offers salvation! Amazingly, this grace offers even more!
The fact that a free gift of grace offers you salvation as it forgives all of your sin is a treasure that we should hold close to our hearts. That is probably not a new idea to you. There are plenty of teachings on that first aspect of grace. I believe, however, that there are not enough teachings on the second aspect of grace that Paul shows us in Titus 2. Paul tell us that grace teaches us to renounce ungodliness and live godly lives! In other words, God’s grace empowers us away from sin and into godly living. How amazing and gracious is that?!?
Two things typically hinder us from experiencing the empowerment of God’s grace. First, we wrongly believe that since we are forgiven, we should be able to go on living however we want. This is not how grace works. It is not an excuse for our sin. Grace is an empowerment, meant to push us away from sin. Second, life is hard and we try to do it in our own strength. Do you ever feel like you want to do the right things but continue to fall short? Do you ever feel like life is just crushing you? Welcome to doing it in your own strength! God is not shy about telling us that life is brutally difficult. However, He graciously gives us His power to do it well.
Consider the example of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12. Paul says that he had a thorn in his side, a messenger of Satan meant to harass him and keep him humble. He pleaded with God to take it away. What did God say in response? “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Notice how God paralleled His grace with His power. God told Paul that all he needed was His grace because it was the power that would push him through. This is how Paul could then welcome his weaknesses and even boast about them. Paul was glad about his own weaknesses because God’s power rested on him in the midst of those weaknesses. Therefore, in God’s eyes and Paul’s eyes, a thorn with grace’s empowerment was better than no thorn and no grace. Grace is that good and that powerful!
I want you to leave this writing feeling so alive. There is a God who has freely lavished a forgiveness on you that completely wipes away all your mistakes. He has brought salvation to your soul and has given you a free gift of eternal life. You have earned death, but you have been given life. Amazing! There is a God who also empowers you in a mighty way as he covers your life with His grace. His grace teaches you and trains you away from the corruption that we find all over this world. You receive supernatural strength in the midst of your weaknesses. This is how we can live the lives we really want to live. Amazing!
This was a very intentional send off from God. The grace of Jesus is all over the Bible, and God wants to remind us of it as we end the final page. Life can be tough. We make mistakes. We often feel incredibly weak and insufficient. However, God gives us His grace. Living in this grace is the only way. God used the last line of Scripture to tell us, “Go live in the grace found in my Son.” Pay close attention to that last line. Live in that last line. Never be the same! Amen.