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“So, since we have been made righteous by his grace, we can inherit the hope for eternal life.” Titus 3:7 CEB Several years ago, my girls both bought a type of hammock called an Eno. They are made from nylon and look and feel a lot like parachute fabric. When you are not using the Eno you stuff it into its own bag that makes it very easy to carry around. It comes with a strap system for hanging the Eno which means you can hang it virtually anywhere. Well, except for our backyard. We don’t have trees that are close enough to hang the Eno. Last summer my youngest daughter asked if I would build a type of hammock pergola in our backyard for her Eno. She had a photo of the type of pergola she wanted and that was it. I studied the photo and we talked about what we would need to build it. I went and purchased all the materials and we set out to make her request a reality. My daughter helped me to put the pergola together and install it in the backyard. It has been a great addition to the backyard and now the Eno even gets used from time to time. The best part about the whole project is that we made it. When I was a kid I loved building models. When I was about eight I built a model airplane. It was a 1:42 scale Cessna 152 propeller airplane. I was so proud of the model. It was even more special to me because it was a model of the first airplane I ever flew in with my uncle as the pilot. I made a few more models in my childhood, but that one was my favorite. And I made it. About six months after I finished that model my sister accidentally knocked the model airplane off my dresser and it broke into too many pieces to repair. It was an accident, but what I had made was destroyed in an instant. It’s taken many years and a lot of therapy for me to forgive my sister for that. Of course, I am kidding about that because it was just a model airplane. If I had wanted I could have made another one at any point in my life. In the culture in which we live we love the satisfaction of making things. It could be like the old saying, “He’s/she’s a self-made man/woman.” Some people build or rebuild cars. Some people love to make things with wood. Other people make jewelry or another type of art. Whatever it may be, we seem to really like making things ourselves. I believe the main reason is so we can say to someone, “Yeah, I made that.” There are things in life where that is a great statement, like models and pergolas. However, there are some things, one thing in particular, where the “I made that” statement just doesn’t fit. It is the one area that Paul knew the early church was going with it. Paul knew that people were beginning to think that they had made themselves into good, perhaps even righteous, people because of doing good. Paul tells Titus to remind them that “we have been made righteous by his grace” and not anything we could have done. We do not make ourselves righteous. When we were yet sinners there was nothing we could have done that would have made ourselves righteous. It is only by God’s grace that we are made right. This happens by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is important for us to remember that there are a lot of things we can make in this world. We can even gain immense satisfaction from knowing that we made it. It is also important to remember that we are made righteous through Jesus alone. We cannot make that happen. Only Jesus can make us right with God. Paul reminds us all that we are made men and women of God by God’s grace. In the words of Paul in Romans 5:8, “But God shows his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” We are made righteous by God’s gracious love for us and the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. This Sunday we conclude our message series Godly, looking at The Book of Titus. We will explore what it means to live a Godly life through Jesus Christ. I hope you will join us. The best is yet to come at St. Andrew’s. I can’t wait to see you in church!

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