The Word of the Week – According to His Mercy He Saved Us
Titus 3:4-7 NASB But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
The book of Titus is a letter that was written by the apostle Paul around the year 62 A.D. with the primary purpose of instructing his fellow companion in ministry, Titus, regarding the placement of elders (overseers) within the churches on the island of Crete. However, in the letter the apostle Paul also charges Titus to preach sound doctrine and to be an exemplary leader in Christian growth.
Our brief study will focus on Titus chapter 3, verses 4-7, in which the apostle Paul magnifies the doctrine of “grace alone” – the Biblical truth that the believer’s salvation is wholly a work of the grace of God. This truth is absolutely foundational to the Christian faith and should cause the believer to live in a state of humility before God and men.
In verse 4, Paul refers to the appearing of, “the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind,” a clear reference to the incarnation and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we read this verse we may tend to hurry by without realizing just how radical of a concept that it is. Dr. Robert Morey once stated, “Does God love everybody? [Actually the question should be,] Does God love anybody? Why assume that He should or ought? Matter of fact, looking around I would think that God should hate everybody. If He loves anybody that’s a shock. No one deserves the love of God. Nobody.” Nevertheless, the Bible is clear that in Christ God has does have an effectual, saving love for some men – Romans 9:13 NASB Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.”
In verse 5, the apostle Paul writes that God has “saved us.” Notice that he does not write that men have somehow saved themselves. This important because it demonstrates that God alone acts in the miracle of salvation. He is the one that regenerates the sinner (grants him spiritual life) and gives the sinner the gifts of repentance and faith.
If we are saved, we are saved only by the grace and mercy of God! “…He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy…”
I know not why God’s wondrous grace To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love Redeemed me for His own.
I know not how this saving faith To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word Wrought peace within my heart.
I know not how the Spirit moves, Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word, Creating faith in Him.
I Know Whom I have Believed (verses 1-3)
Daniel W. Whittle, 1840-1901
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