TITUS 3:3-7: “Indeed, we, too, were once stupid, disobedient, and misled. We were slaves to many kinds of lusts and pleasures. We were mean and jealous. We were hated, and we hated each other. However, when God our Savior made his kindness and love for humanity appear, he saved us, but not because of anything we had done to gain his approval. Instead, because of his mercy he saved us through the washing in which the Holy Spirit gives us new birth and renewal. God poured a generous amount of the Spirit on us through Jesus Christ our Savior. As a result, God in his kindness has given us his approval and we have become heirs who have the confidence that we have everlasting life.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: What a powerful reminder of the wonderful gift of God’s Grace and Mercy! It is a common pitfall for believers to forget that we had nothing to do with our salvation. Somewhere along the line, we start to believe that we are not really so bad after all. We begin to take comfort in, and credit for, the wonder of the Spirit’s work in our lives. And more than that, we forget our roots, which results in a lack of compassion toward others and a self-righteous and judgmental attitude.
Let’s take a personal inventory with the Apostle Paul. Paul reminds Timothy (and us) – “Indeed, we, too, were once stupid, disobedient, and misled. We were slaves to many kinds of lusts and pleasures. We were mean and jealous. We were hated, and we hated each other.” Notice, Paul does not say “they”, or “you” – he says “WE”! And he prefaces it with an emphatic “Indeed”! If we are honest with ourselves, if we take the time to look at our roots, we will realize that this is the truth. We were all lost, wandering further and further from God. We needed an intervention!
The intervention was not initiated by our own effort or will. It flowed fully from the heart of God the Father when He sent Jesus into the world to save us. Jesus came, he fulfilled all of God’s righteous requirements, and He died a substitutionary death for our sins on the cross – all without our merit or contribution. It solely a work of God’s Grace, through God’s Mercy, to God’s rebellious creation, of which we were a part. The Lord did not look down upon us and say – “Hey there’s a good one – they are worthy to be saved!” No, He looked down upon us and saw our hearts and lives positioned, through our actions, as enemies of God. And yet – He reached down to us with the free gift of salvation – because He loved us!
Salvation, which includes a changed heart and life, and the future promise of eternal life, is the work of God from start to finish. It is a work of Grace! It is a work of Mercy! It is a work of Love! We bring nothing to it but a surrendered heart of repentance – and He does everything else! We are washed clean through the blood of Jesus. We are transformed through the renewing of the Holy Spirit. And we are empowered and taught by overflowing Grace. It is God’s work from beginning to end. This calls us to position our hearts in humility, thanksgiving, and praise. The minute we are tempted to take any credit for what He alone has done, we are setting ourselves up for a fall. It is the heart of surrender and humility that is kept by the power of God, not the heart of self-righteousness and pride!
The fruit of this surrendered life is summarized by Paul – “As a result, God in his kindness has given us his approval and we have become heirs who have the confidence that we have everlasting life.” We have God’s approval through Jesus Christ, we have becomes heirs of the heavenly riches in Jesus Christ, and we walk in blessed assurance with Jesus Christ!
IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER – IT IS A GIFT!
In Jesus Name!