He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness,
but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.
One of the greatest misunderstood concepts of the Bible for unbelievers is the idea that our good works earn our salvation. That is a preconceived notion of many.
Perhaps it seemed to start out that way for many of our ancestors, going back five hundred and some years ago.
Then the Reformation happened, and Protestant Christians came to believe what the Bible teaches that salvation is by grace alone.
Thankfully, as Titus 3:5 teaches, Christ saved us not by any deeds we have done but by His mercy alone.
Mercy speaks of tenderness, compassion, and forgiveness given to one who doesn’t deserve the leniency or forbearance.
If only everyone could grasp that concept.
Our goodness or righteousness or right way of living comes only by the grace of Jesus Christ.
He is the one who makes us righteous, that is not something we produce ourselves.
I think of the word righteous as a person being made right by the sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.
Jesus is the one who brings the goodness, the right way of living, or the “righteousness”
Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling. (Rock of Ages/Hymn)
The pressure is off, dear reader.
As you believe in Jesus Christ, you accept His sacrifice for your sin and, out of gratitude, you work with His Holy Spirit in you to become a better person, a more effective Christian.
As you learn about Christ’s life and sacrifice for you, you want to be a person who serves Christ and does good works out of thankfulness for the magnitude of the gift of grace He has given us on the Cross.
You never need to serve Christ out of owing a debt. Jesus paid it in full, dear one. But the gratitude the overflowing gratitude brings a passionate desire to serve our Saviour!
We are “regenerate” individuals, which simply means “made new” by everything Christ did and nothing we have done. One dictionary definition states “to grow again.”
That pretty much sums it up. We are stuck, dead in sin, until Christ’s Spirit in us brings us to a new life in Christ!
The essence of it is the love and kindness of God to people in sending Jesus Christ to be a propitiation for all our sins.
The term propitiation simply means that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross satisfied the wrath of God towards our sins.
God’s grace gives great power to change a heart through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Grace alone suddenly turns toward God, a heart that had been rebellious and stubborn.
The apostle Paul, the greatest missionary ever, wrote:
“But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.”
You can find this quote as written in 1 Corinthians 15:10 (a) and it applies to you and me.
He wrote this after becoming a Christian. He had been a persecutor and murder of Christians..
Do you think there is no grace or hope for you?
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