Mar 5, 2023. Titus 3:4-7

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ABUNDANT GRACE. Titus 3:4-7. 3/5/2023. #9.

4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

1. Love appears

                a. God has always loved mankind as both his creation and as being made in his image (Gen. 1:26-28)

                b. The physical manifestation (“epiphany”) of God’s love came in the incarnation of Jesus Christ

                                a1. The sudden, though predicted, appearing of the Son of God brought God’s love and generosity into the light

                                a2. Man was the directed object and beneficiary of that love

                c. The Lord’s appearing was apart from any motive or works done by man

2. God so loved the world…

                a. The motivation of God is in his character

                                a1. God exercised mercy (to take pity or to have compassion) on our behalf

                                a2. Mercy was not based upon our worthiness, seeking God, or hidden potential

                b. God showed abundant (“plentiful” or “overflowing”) grace upon us

                                a1. The incarnation and sacrifice of Christ was of an abundance of grace that was greater than our sin (Rom. 6)

                                a2. Even though our sins are great, God’s love and mercy are far greater still

3. Washed and renewed

                a. God applied his grace via the work of the Holy Spirit

                b. Jesus paid the penalty of sin and the Spirit applied the payment to regenerate us

                c. The washing of regeneration

                                a1. 2 interpretations of “washing”

                                                b1. Literal = regenerated through the mode of water baptism (an early church misunderstanding and heresy)

                                                b2. Metaphorical = the Spirit spiritually washes us with Christ’s full payment so that we are made spiritually clean and then regenerated (made alive) eternally (from eternal death to life)

                                a2. 3 reasons why “washing” is figurative and not literal:

                                                b1. The washing is “of the Holy Spirit” and not “of water”

                                                b2. Applying water or any other act cannot save man, just like animal offerings couldn’t save man (Hebrews 10)

                                                b3. Ephesians 2, Romans 6, Romans 10 all other references of salvation refer to grace and faith apart from water baptism (even Mark 16 taken rightly)

                d. The washing of the renewing of believers

                                a1. The Spirit not only regenerates us, but he also renews (“new again”)

                                a2. Renewal is an ongoing process of spiritual growth (Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 5:18, II Peter 3:18)

                                a3. Ephesians 1:13-14 the Spirit’s work doesn’t stop in a believer at salvation

                c. James 2 spiritual growth should be the natural result of spiritual renewal

                                a1. By being justified (declared to be righteous) we need to live righteously

                                a2. The Spirit prepares us for living with God eternally (Romans 8:12-17)

                d. Those who are not renewed daily indicate that they my not be saved – as with many false saints (I John 5)

                e. Even though it is the Spirit’s job to renew us, we must yield to the Spirit to be renewed (Ephesians 5:18)

Key verse:  Romans 8:12-1712 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.