Salvation Not by Works
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).
The context of this verse paints a picture of our natural state without Christ. When we see our reflection in this verse we ask ourselves, "How could God love me?!"
Take a look at verse 3: "For aye ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another" (Titus 3:3).
In that light, the Apostle calls upon us to exercise patience and gentleness with those who are still wandering blindly through life without the love and light of Christ. He says, "Think of what you once were."
Once we were foolish, without any real spiritual understanding. When we remember the follies of our own past, we are more disposed to react kindly to those who today are still living that way.
We were disobedient. We resisted the Word of God and rebelled against the laws of God. How foolish! It is totally contrary to all reason and logic. After all, who should know about life? God, of course. He is the Author of life.
We were deceived, wandering like a lost sheep, from the path of truth and holiness. He goes on to list a total of eight things and then calls our attention to the kindness and love of God our Savior.
All things or course, are of God who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ. Our great God and Father in Heaven conceived the glorious plan of redemption. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, carried it out by His death and resurrection. Today the Blessed Holy Spirit is constantly at work to perfect it in our lives.
Think of it. Man in his pride and wretchedness could have prompted wrath, instant and final, from the throne of God. But no! Wonder of wonders, that which flowed from the majesty on High was compassion and love. His great heart chose to save rather than destroy. He delights to show mercy, and where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
Therefore, God is the Author, His free grace the foundation and the Gospel the means of our salvation.
All false foundation is removed; it is not by works of righteousness which we have done. Works, good works, must be in the life of the child of God but they are not the cause of our salvation. They are not the root but the fruit of redemption.
The washing of regeneration is inward and spiritual. It cleanses and purifies and does away with the guilt and defilement of sin. Then follows the daily renewing of our lives by the Holy Spirit as the inward man is renewed day-by-day.
Thus we are born of the Spirit, sanctified by the Spirit, led, guided and strengthened by the Spirit. By His help we walk in God's ways as they are revealed to us in the blessed Old Book, the Word of God.
And as the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Word, we must be careful not to quench, resist or oppose Him, lest He heed our desires and leave us alone.
This vital Bible verse is just one of 60 carefully selected scriptures that are contained in the Navigators Scripture Memory course. If you want to memorize Scripture, but aren't sure what to memorize or how to get started, this is exactly what you need. The includes memory verse cards in four different Bible versions - NIV, KJV, NASB, NKJV. Topics include all of the basics of the Christ-centered Spirit-filled life, sharing your faith, and growing on to maturity in your walk with God. May God bless you as you fill your life with His Word.
© Copyright 2002, LeRoy Eims