Sunday, August 22, 2010

God's Love for You is Everlasting

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)

In becoming a Christian, the believer acknowledges Christ as Lord and recognizes Christ's saving work. We gain eternal life with all its treasures. We have renewal by the Holy Spirit, and He continually renews our hearts. None of this occurs because we earned or deserved it, it is all God's gift. Renewing of the Holy Spirit is the continual process of Christian living and is enabled by the Holy Spirit, resulting in growth in character and good works.

not by works of righteousness”: Since Paul has been exhorting Titus to emphasize good works in his ministry with the Cretans, he wants to make it clear that such works have no value in saving a person. Rather, it is solely on the basis of God’s mercy that we are delivered from the penalty of our sin.

Paul summarized what Christ does for us when He saves us. We move from a life full of sin to one where we are led by God's Holy Spirit. All our sins, not merely some, are washed away (Titus 3:5).

washing of regeneration”: Paul is referring to the work of the Holy Spirit, who in a moment makes a person new by the cleansing of regeneration (the new birth). This new nature is the ground for living the Christian life and performing good deeds. This verse is telling us that regeneration is the washing, not the regeneration of baptism. There is no mention of water baptism here and there certainly is no mention of water baptism being necessary for salvation.

Word Focus: washing of regeneration - (Gk. loutron palingene sias) (Titus 3:5) G3067; G3824: The Greek word for washing can signify the receptacle of washing (the basin) or the act of washing itself. In Eph. 5:26, the only other New Testament occurrence of this word, the natural meaning is washing. Here also the action of washing is presented. Quite simply, the text says that regeneration is characterized by or accompanied by the action of washing. The regenerative activity of the Holy Spirit is characterized elsewhere in Scripture as cleansing and purifying (see Ezek. 36:25–27; John 3:5). The Greek term for regeneration literally means “being born again”—indicating a new birth effected by the Holy Spirit (see John 3:6; Rom. 8:16; Gal. 4:6). Thus God saved us through one process with two aspects: the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.

we should become heirs”: God justifies believers so that they might become coheirs with Jesus Christ in His coming reign (see Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:12).

the hope of eternal life”: What is this hope that is stored in heaven? First of all, Christian hope is not mere wishing. It is a fervent yearning, confident expectation, and patient waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises. It is a Christ centered assurance. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," (1 Pet 1:3).

All three persons of the Trinity are mentioned in these verses because all three participate in the work of salvation. Based upon the redemptive work of His Son, the Father forgives and sends the Holy Spirit to wash away our sins and continually renew us.

It is my prayer Lord that I continue to follow you and give You the honor and glory that You so justly deserve. Lord give me the wisdom and courage necessary to be Your Witness and to fight off the devil when I'm tempted to sin against You. Lord, I continue to lift up other Christian bloggers to you for wisdom and courage to spread the Good News. I pray this all in Jesus' name, the Name above all names. Amen.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), and the Nelson Study Bible.


Denise said...

God bless you dear brother.

misslynda said...

Amen and Amen! What you shared are rejoicing words!

Gorges Smythe said...

Good post! Still love that music!

Arts&Disability said...

Just wanted to say that eternal salvation is so true! God is true... Thank you for your encouragement, always.
Love in our Lord,
His Sonshine

MTJ said...

Hi Lloyd,

"What is this hope that is stored in heaven? First of all, Christian hope is not mere wishing. It is a fervent yearning, confident expectation, and patient waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises." -- Without this hope, there would be no desire for me to continue waiting.

I think many get hung up on the thinking that there has to be some requirement fulfilled, some act by me that validates my salvation in Christ, something I can point to and say, "I did that!"

The truth is as you indicate, " is solely on the basis of God’s mercy that we are delivered from the penalty of our sin."

Blessings and peace.


Michael (Repentance-and-rest Blog) said...

Hi Lloyd - just saying 'hi' and thank you for visiting my blog. I had thought that my blog was so obscure no one would ever trod upon it!!!

Thank you for your encouragement brother - Although we may never meet while on earth, I hope to meet you in heaven!!!

With Joy and peace from God


dfish said...

Another really good post. I am so thankful our salvation is based on his everlasting love rather than our efforts. especially as Isaiah says our works are just filthy rags.

Anna said...

Hey thanks for checking out my blog. In the blog you read, I had a post about a new reviews blog I'm writing, if you are interested the link is on the blog titled "New Venture."

Thanks again and I'll be reading:)

Lloyd said...

Denise, Misslyndad and Gorges - Thank you so much for your visits and encouraging comments. And, Gorges... I also love listening to this old hymnal that I have playing on this blog. God bless.

Anna and Arts&amp - Thanks for the visit and comments. I am so glad that this post encouraged you. I give all the honor and glory to our Lord. Bless you.

MTJ - You are such a blessing to so many folks with your blog. I want to thank you for your visit and comments. The biblical definition for "hope" is entirely opposite of the worldly definition. Without this Blessed Hope, there would be no desire for any Believer to continue waiting. God's blessings too you.

Michael - I enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I am sure others will find it worthwhile to read also. When Believers talk about "hope", it is a certainty that we will meet one of these days in the Kingdom that our Lord has prepared for us. God bless.

dfish - Thank you so much for your visit and kind words. Amen to our salvation being based on His everlasting love and mercy because otherwise I would be one of those filthy rags tossed into the burning inferno. God bless.

Imagination-Cafe Magazine said...

What great blog! So inspiring, just what I needed :)

Thanks for stopping by Imagination-cafe blog!

Sandie lee

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

So glad I was able to stop by today for a visit. I have not been visiting too many blogs since my accident in April.
Enjoyed your post very much

Ian Curtis said...

Hello, friend.
I agree that eternal salvation is a most comforting hope indeed, and since our salvation is eternal, then it is equally secure, as scripture tells us.
My prayer is that everyone who professes Christ would believe and accept this teaching. I have encountered some lately who do not like "believe and you will be saved." It is pat, too easy, lazy, etc. It's strange...I thought it was grace! If we aren't saved by the unmerited favor of God, then what ARE we saved by?
Thank you for fighting the good fight, and preaching God's grace toward man. It soothes the soul to hear it...
God bless you, Ian.

Sandro Duarte said...

Grace and peace, always!
I want to congratulate your blog.
Begin to follow from now.
I invite you to visit my blog: comment, critique, enjoy ...
I remember on my blog have a translator for English. (If you do not happen to speak Portuguese).

In Jesus, who is the true path.

Sandro Duarte

Toyin O. said...

Amen Brother!

Lloyd said...

Imagination-CafĂ©, Grandma, Sandro, and Toyin: I thank all of you for your visits and encouraging words. Sandro, I have visited your blog and really enjoy reading the posts. I don’t speak Portuguese so the translator came in really handy. God bless each of you.

Ian – I want to thank you personally for your visit and encouraging comments. I am a follower of your blog and have noticed that your posts are very informative and speak the truth of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. My prayer has always been that those believers that profess that God’s free gift of Salvation must be somehow “earned” by either belonging to a certain “church” or being “baptized”… or both would come to know God’s Truth. I must tell you Ian that when I visit your blog, I can feel the Spirit of God in each and every post. Thank you so much for teaching and preaching the TRUTH of God’s free gift of Salvation to mankind. Blessings too you.