We’re continuing our study of the third chapter of Titus. The other day we Remembered Our Duty as Christ followers so that our behavior allows His light to shine through us. Yesterday we Recalled Our Past so we can look where we are today in comparison to how we were before we received the gift of grace from Jesus. It’s good to see where we were, because that produces gratitude in our walk in the Spirit.
And today we reflect on our salvation. It’s important to reflect on our undeserved salvation by faith and God’s grace, because that produces kindness and compassion in us to the rest of the world. “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)
- We are saved because of God’s kindness and love: Kindness is manifest in what is called “common grace”. God is kind to all He has made (Ps 145:9), even when His creatures are ungrateful and wicked (Luke 6:35). His kindness is selfless, compassionate and merciful; and is intended to lead us to repentance, not to rejection of Him (Rom 2:4). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
- We are mercifully saved by grace: Salvation comes only from God, and only through God’s mercy. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)
- We’re granted regeneration: Salvation includes “the washing of regeneration”. This refers to the spiritual cleansing which takes place when a person accepts Christ in salvation. At that moment, a person’s life is “regenerated”, or “made new”. Jesus said we must be made new: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
- We receive the Holy Spirit: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph 1:13). In the freedom Christ gives us, we have access to walk in our lives by the Spirit’s power and guidance (Gal 5:16). The Holy Spirit renews our spirit as He dwells in us. We have “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17).
- We have salvation through Jesus Christ, our Savior: Faith in Jesus is the only way to a relationship with the Father (John 14:16). He is literally and absolutely the ONLY way to obtain salvation from our sin. “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12)
- We are justified by the Lord’s grace: To be justified in Christ means that God declares or considers us to be righteous individuals even though we are still sinners, which results in peace with God. It is a legal decision. “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal 3:24) There is no other way to be justified (declared righteous) other than by faith in Jesus Christ. Without faith, there is no justification; without justification, there is no salvation. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” (Rom 3:28)
- We become heirs according to the hope of eternal life: We have the opportunity for eternal life as a result of being justified by faith, by the gift of grace through faith, which makes eternal life possible. The hope of eternal life is what we anticipate. We have confidence that the Lord will complete the good work He began in us (Phil 1:6). “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb 6:19-20) The priest Melchizedek was known for refreshing, as the Lord refreshes our spirits.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25)