14 day plan

Transformation through the Word

Day 13 of 14

Titus 3:4-5

4But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, 5he saved us —not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy — through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

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.

Titus 3:1-15

Christian Living among Outsiders

1Remind them to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people. 3For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.

4But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, 5he saved us —not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy — through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. 6He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life. 8This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone. 9But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, because they are unprofitable and worthless. 10Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning. 11For you know that such a person has gone astray and is sinning; he is self-condemned.

Final Instructions and Closing

12When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me in Nicopolis, because I have decided to spend the winter there. 13Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey, so that they will lack nothing.

14Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works for pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful. 15All those who are with me send you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with all of you.