Focus Verse of the Week
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)
The apostle gives a grievous summary of the characteristics of man after the flesh—which we once were. Sin was foolishness, was disobedience; the sinner was deceived, was the slave of lusts, filled with malice and envy, hateful, and hating others. Such is man characterized by sin. But the kindness of God, of a Savior-God, His good-will and charity towards men (sweet and precious character of God!) has appeared.
That which has made us different from others is not some merit in ourselves, some personal superiority: we were sometime even as they. It is the tender love and grace of the God of mercy. He has been kind and merciful to us: we have known what it is, and are so to others. It is true that in cleansing and renewing us this mercy has wrought by a principle, and in a sphere of a life, that are entirely new, so that we cannot walk with the world as we did before.
Now when the kindness of a Savior-God appeared, it was not something vague and uncertain; He has saved us, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy by washing and renewing us. … He is washed from his former habits, thoughts, desires, in the practical sense. We wash a thing that exists. The man was morally bad and defiled in his inward and outward life. God has saved us by purifying us; He could not do it otherwise. To be in relationship with Himself there must be practical purity.
(Adapted from John Darby’s Synopsis of the New Testament, Titus 3.)
A Thought to Keep
God demands practical purity in our lives, but we can’t accomplish this without the Holy Spirit. Are you living the reality of a sinner saved by grace, relying on the Holy Spirit’s help?
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[Source: Beyond Sunday, Tropical Bible Study .]