Saved by Mercy
Titus 3:4–7 is a great consolation to those who've forgotten they are saved by God's mercy, not their own works or righteousness.
"But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
So, what did Jesus bring in to our lives? He brought, "the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior." Think about our fate otherwise. Where would we be if God did not reveal the fulness of His goodness and loving kindness through Jesus? We would be lost in darkness and facing an eternity of sadness and gloom apart from God. But God sought our good. God gave us a gift. God poured out a blessing. God has shown us favor. In other words, God has expressed His goodness and loving kindness to us.
Now, why? Why would God do that? For what purpose? "He saved us." Saved means spared from judgment. It means delivered from certain destruction. It means rescued and set free from sin and death, being reconciled to God for time and eternity. Saved! What a glorious word. What a joyous thought: God saved us.
But why save us? What motivated God to save us? What drove Him to such drastic action on our behalf? "Not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy." Isn't that self-explanatory. Did God save you because you did good works as a righteous person? No. Did God save you because of His own mercy? Yes.
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved." (Ephesians 2:4-5)
How did God save us? What divine action was need in our lives? "By the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior." We could not save ourselves; we had to be saved by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the gospel message. And that coming after, and on the basis of, Christ's sacrificial death and glorious resurrection (see also Titus 2:13-14).
Brothers and sisters, we needed the Holy Spirit. We needed new hearts. We needed to be born again. Beloved, never forget that to be saved, we need a miracle. We need a supernatural work of God applied to our soul and mind, not simply a natural work of religion or a shallow decision of the mind made in the flesh.
Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:5-8)
"In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Finally, to what end? What is the great result, the goal of God saving us? "So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Justified now, made right in the eyes of God. But heirs of eternal life in all its fullness, i.e., fully conformed to the likeness of Christ, receiving a resurrection body like unto Christ, dwelling in the presence of God and the risen Christ, inhabiting the new heavens and new earth forever in complete liberation from this evil age and the curse of sin and death, and there seeing, loving, worshiping, and serving God with all His saints and all His angels in perfect joy, gratitude, and gladness of heart.
As you look forward to this grand inheritance along with all your brothers and sisters scattered across the globe, stand firm in the faith, stay grounded in truth, and stay trusting in Christ. Rest in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and daily cry out for the Spirit's help, never swerving from the hope you have in Christ. Beloved of God, I urge you to persevere.
"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,  where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." (Hebrews 6:19-20)
"Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
by: Matt Fortunato