3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Verse 3 gives us a list of the many sins we have done against God. In all honesty, I have done all of these. I embraced sin. But, that was the old me. Before I gave my life to Christ, my mind was changed about sin; I had grown to learn that sin is deadly-physically and spiritually, sin separates man and God, and sin was SERIOUS. At first, I tried to stop sinning thinking that somehow me stopping would gain me peace with God and as a result eternal life. But that didn't cut and it never will. Like I said in my last post: Bible Verse of the Week, we are not saved by works through willpower.
Verse 4 introduces God's love and kindness. What is God's love and kindness? He sent His only Son to be our permanent sacrifice, to forgive us of our sins, to give us His righteousness, to give us eternal life, to provide peace with God. Jesus is love! God is love!
Verse 5 continues this concept more in-depth. We have no righteousness before God until we place our faith in God's grace and mercy, trusting in Christ' work on the cross. Our faith is the means by which Christ' righteousness is imputed on us as He took on our sin. After this, aka Salvation/Being Saved, come the 'washing of regeneration'-a short term for being born again. To be born again as a Christian means that we now live by the Spirit/by Christ and not of or after the flesh-we repent (turn) from sin and turn towards/ embrace God, we take sin seriously, we trust in Christ and not of ourselves... Along with being born again is the 'renewing of the Holy Ghost'. To my understanding, The Holy Ghost renews us by our obedience towards the things of God and the putting away of what isn't very becoming for a Christian (of course replacing it with Christian attributes). Does the phrase 'putting away of' sound familiar to you? It should because it is a phrase used in the Bible (and in my post: No Makeup?). The verse is 1 Peter 3:21. I'll reinforce the point, you are not saved by trying to do away with sin. Everyone knows Eph. 2:8. We are saved by grace through faith! My explanation on the 'renewing of the Holy Spirit' is for those who are already saved; God's Holy Spirit comes in and perfects you because you still can't do it on your own.
Verse 6 Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are fully God as much as God is God. God dwells COMPLETELY in the believer-so don't grieve Him with sin! Deal with sin before you harden your heart, in one of the earlier stages if you can (James 1:14-15).
Verse 7 by God's gracious gift, we are justified. Jesus is our mediator-He's the only way towards forgiveness of sins, righteousness, eternal life, peace with God... Romans 8:15, 17 agree that we are made children of God which makes us heirs to eternal life. Though we Christians believe strongly that our eternal life through Christ is a promise, it is still a hope because we do not physically see the spiritual (Romans 8:24). BUT! Christians, through faith, feel and know God's presence in everything-we can still have confidence! I, for one, am confident in the work God has done in my life-He led me to Him, led me to repentance, saved me, perfects me, comforts me, etc. God is alive.
Your Sister in Christ,
P.S. A more in-depth explanation of these verses can be found @http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-titus-3-3-7.htm