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Titus 3 verses 4 through 7

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 have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior.
7 And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.”

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Phrases:

But-

This conjunction, the Greek word, de, contrasts our sinful ways mentioned in verse 3 with God’s kindness and mercy mentioned in these next few amazing verses!

when the kindness of God our Savior-

  • Our Father started the process of our salvation which was motivated by His kindness.

A) kindness

  • chrē-stót-ēs means usefulness.
  • Other English translations say kindness or goodness.
  • Although we were useless as shown in the previous verse, yet God’s useful character toward us has appeared.
  • The same Greek word is also translated kindness below, yet you can see the contrast between worthlessness and usefulness.
  • Romans 3:12 (NET) 12 All have turned away, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.”
  • Mathew Poole comments as follows about the word:  the word signifies one’s easiness to do good to another; that native goodness that is in God, rendering him inclinable to love, and prone to do good unto the sons of men.

Discussion Question:

Can you describe a time when someone was useful toward a need you had?  How did their action make you feel toward them?

B) God our Savior

  • This is speaking of God the Father who saved us through the washing of the Spirit whom He poured out on us through Jesus Christ as shown in v 5 and v6 below.
  • This passage shows us the Trinity at work in our Salvation.

and his love for mankind appeared-

A) Love for mankind

  • phil-an-thrō-pí-a means fondness of mankind.

B) appeared

  • The Father’s kindness and love appeared in His sending Jesus into the world.
  • John 3:16 (NET) 16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

    he saved us-

    A) he saved

    • Meaning God the Father saved us. 
    • Verse 7 says, “since he justified us …”. Therefore, this saving is not the saving from a bad lifestyle or bad circumstances, but rather this saving justifies us before God. We are saved from His judgement and wrath.

    B) us

    • Not all the human race is saved, but us who have been born again and renewed by the Holy Spirit.

    not by works of righteousness that we have done-

    • Meaning that God did not save us because of our good deeds.
    • Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.

    A) Righteousness

    • dik-ai-os-ý-nē means equity.
    • Webster defines equity as fairness or justice in the way people are treated.
    • Obviously, we have not treated others nor God with perfect equity. 

    Discussion Questions:

    • Why do you think God does not save us because of our works of righteousness?

    but on the basis of his mercy-

    • Meaning he saved us because of His compassion for our broken and fallen state.

    A) Mercy

    • él-e-os means compassion.
    • Romans 9:23 (NET) 23 And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory…

    Discussion Question:

    • Can you give an example of when you helped someone because you were motivated by compassion?

    through the washing –

    • The word “through” is mentioned twice in this passage.

    A) Through

    • di-á is a Greek preposition denoting the channel of an act.
    • We are saved by two channels mentioned in this passage.  First we are saved “through” the washing of the Holy Spirit whom He poured out on us “through” Jesus Christ.
    • Below is a famous shipping channel to illustrate. 
    • The English Channel

    B) washing

    • lou-trón means a bath.

    of the new birth and the renewing-

    • The description of the washing is described by two Greek words.

    A) new birth

    • This single Greek word is the compound word pal-in-gen-es-í-a which means rebirth or regeneration.
    • Pal-in means anew or again.
    • Gen-es-ia means nativity.
    • Webster defines nativity as the process or circumstances of being born, birth.

    B) And

    • ka-í means having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; a conjunction meaning – and, also, even, so then, too, etc.

    C) Renewing

    • an-ak-a-í-nō-sis means renovation.
    • Below is a link to illustrate a renovation and new birth of an old picture.  As you watch the video, think of all your sins being taken away. 
    • https://youtu.be/vcriltNQMfI

    Discussion Question:

    Do you know someone who renovated an object giving it a “new birth”?

    of the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us in full measure –

    A) Spirit

    • pneû-ma, a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit…

    B) Full measure

    • plou-sí-ōs means copiously.
    • Webster defines copious as very large in amount.
    • The Holy Spirit was copiously poured out onto us. This shows how complete the Spirit’s work was in washing us. 

    through Jesus Christ our Savior-

    A) Savior

    • sō-tḗr means deliverer.
    • The Holy Spirit does His washing work through the channel of Jesus Christ our Deliverer.

    Discussion Question:

    • Do you think the Father would have poured the Holy Spirit on us without Christ’s work? Explain?

    And so, since we have been justified by his grace-

    A) justified

    • dik-ai-ó-ō means to render, show, or regard as just or innocent.

    B) grace

    • chár-is means by His graciousness.

    we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life-

    A) heirs

    • klē-ron-óm-os is a sharer by lot, i.e. inheritor.
    • God not only loved us, died our death, forgave us from our sins, washed us by new birth and renovation, but He also gave us the inheritance of eternal life. 
    • What an amazing-loving-compassionate-gracious God we have!!!

    ———

    Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.

    ———-

    Are You Saved by Your Works or the Works of the Trinity?

    Bob,

    Your good works cannot save you. First, even your good works are tainted with selfishness. Second, those good works will never erase your many evil deeds. 

    I knew you would need saving before the world began.  I saved you because I loved you and had compassion for you. 

    Yet, I still require justice because your sin deserves punishment. However, I gave My Son for you. The death penalty for your sin and the sin of the world was executed on Him. 

    This allowed the Holy Spirit to wash you clean. Now in My sight, you are no longer depraved, dirty, and dead. Instead, in My sight, you are now born new and renovated into a righteous, clean, and fresh new man. 

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