4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He 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. 6 He poured out this Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Transformed lives. That’s the business of God and His mission in the world, in our church, and in you.
Titus 3:3 says we “were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.” But then something happened.
This passage tells us why and why not there was a transformation in us. It was NOT by our own works of righteousness that we had done. It was all God, motivated by His “kindness” and “love of mankind.” He gave us new birth (regeneration) and renewed us by His Spirit (we needed renewal), whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior. I love the image of the Spirit being poured out on me abundantly. Imagine standing at the bottom of a waterfall and having God’s Spirit lavished on you with a continual supply.
Jesus is our Savior because He delivered us from darkness and sin so that we are declared righteous before God and treated better than we deserve. We are now in a position to inherit all God has for us, including the hope and certainty of eternal life. What Good News!
In Psalm 103, the author tells his soul (himself) to bless the Lord and to forget none of His benefits. I’ve heard it said that we should preach the gospel to ourselves every day because we forget it every day. Remind yourself that it is not because of your own righteousness that you are in right standing before God, but because of His kindness, love, mercy and grace that you are saved through Jesus Christ. Meditate on that truth.
We see here that the Trinity is involved in your salvation and transformation. Motivated by kindness and love, the Father saved you through the Holy Spirit making you a new person, and this Holy Spirit is poured out on you through the Son, Jesus Christ.
In my life, I have found passages like Titus 3:3 and Ephesians 2:1-3 to be good reminders of who I was before my new life in Christ. Then when I read Titus 3:4-7 (or Ephesians 2:4-10), I am overwhelmed by God’s love, mercy and grace, which leads me to greater thankfulness, humility, and peace in God’s forgiveness and acceptance of me.
It’s amazing to realize that the entire Trinity is at work to bring about this complete change of identity and to transform me.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits! (Psalm 103:2)
- Read Titus 3:3 and reflect on the trajectory of your life without Christ. What would your life be without God’s work of transformation?
- Now read Titus 3:4-7 once again, and reflect on all God has done for you. What should be your response? Gratitude? Praise? Humility? Security in God’s love and salvation? Joy?
- The Trinity is at work in your transformation. The Father has poured out His Holy Spirit on you abundantly through Jesus Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you today to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around you.