SCRIPTURE: Titus 3:3-7: 3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
OBSERVATION: ( What does it say?)
We are new creations in Christ. The old has passed away and the new has come. (2 Corinthians 2:17.) When Jesus saved/saves us from our sins, there is an inward rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. We no longer desire to live for the flesh, but for the Lord. It wasn't a result of our works so that we could boast (Eph. 2:8-9), but rather because of His kindness, love and mercy. Salvation is a gift and His Spirit dwelling inside of us is also a gift.
UNDERSTANDING: (What does it mean?)
Jesus saved us from our sins so that we could live for Him. In our own strength, it is impossible to do good works and live for Jesus. I guarantee that's a set up for failure. However, the Holy Spirit living inside of us enables us to do good works. We must choose to call out to Him daily, be obedient to Him and not neglect His power.
Why were we saved? Was it to enjoy the benefits of living a forgiven life, while being foolish, disobedient and slaves to sin in the meantime? NO! That would completely contradict the purpose of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. When I am tempted to act out of character, I go back to why Christ chose to save me. He saved me to work for His Kingdom purposes here on Earth until He decides to call me to my eternal dwelling place with Him. He didn't die for me in order for me to continue to be deceived and enslaved by sin. He died, resurrected and gave me His Holy Spirit so that I could live a new life in Him. As a Body, let's remember that we have the Holy Spirit living inside each of us so we must not neglect Him. Just like salvation, He is also a free gift that God has poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior (vs. 6). Thank You Lord for Your free gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit. May we not neglect or take for granted either one. Amen.