Reflections: Paul is emphatic here that salvation comes not due to or as a result of good works, but rather it comes via the mercy of God, the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Spirit. What does this mean? Some argue that this passage advocates that baptism, in particular water baptism, is what is causing salvation here. However, a closer and more contextually sensitive reading reveals a comparison between human effort and divine action. Paul is downplaying the human action of baptism, in favour of elevating the effectual salvation of God. Chiefly, the extension of God’s mercy. Similar to the passage in Ezekiel from yesterday, the sacred significance seeks analogy in a natural act. The regeneration and recreation of the Spirit is the act of transformation in our lives, not anything we try to conform to.
Questions: How might you have been trying to work out your salvation in your own strength? What do you need to do to ensure you’re relying solely on God’s mercy for salvation?
Prayer: I thank you Lord, that you have washed me. That nothing I’ve done or will do can substitute the transformative power of your Spirit. I ask that you continue to fill me with your presence, and wash over my life in order that I would be transformed into your image day by day, moment by moment. Amen.