Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Oct 28 2013 - Titus 3:1-15 – Not because of righteous things we have done...

Yesterday we noted that when Paul says that "the grace of God ... appeared" he is talking about Jesus; he is the one who has appeared, full of grace and truth. We pick up a similar theme this morning. In today's passage Paul says that "the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared" (Titus 3:4). Again, these qualities of God have appeared in a person; Jesus has appeared and has brought the kindness and love of God to us. In Jesus we see the kindness, love and grace of our God who has "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, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life" (3:5-7).

God has made us his own through Jesus, not because of anything we have done to deserve it but because of his great love for us. It was an act of grace and love, an act of kindness and mercy. He took us to be his own when we were dirty and polluted; he has washed us and made us clean. He took us to be his own when we were dead towards him; he has given us life. He has given us his Spirit, and not a little measure of his Spirit but has poured his Spirit upon us in generous measure to renew our lives. He has begun a work of refashioning us into the likeness of his Son that we too may lead lives marked by grace, love, kindness and mercy instead of malice and envy (3:3).

Above all, he has given us hope, the hope of eternal life. Our hope rests not in what we have done but in what our wonderful Saviour has done for us. Grace is a sure foundation for hope. He who died for us and was raised for us now lives for us and is preparing a place for us. He will one day come for us and we will be with him for all eternity.

Meanwhile, since he is our life, we live for him. We also are to be a people in whom the kindness and love of God our Saviour is made apparent to others as we devote ourselves to doing good.

Titus is encouraged by Paul to remind the Christians in Crete of these things and of how they are to live in the light of them; “be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle towards everyone” (3:1-3). They also are no longer to treat people in the way they think they deserve but with unmerited kindness, gentleness and respect. We also need to “stress these things … that are excellent and profitable for everyone” (3:8).

Living God, we praise you that your kindness and love have been poured out upon us in the Lord Jesus. We thank you that even though we deserved your judgment, you have forgiven us our sin for the sake of your Son. We marvel at the fact that you have justified us by your grace – declared us to be righteous in your sight. We thank you that we have been born again through the power of your Spirit – given new life. We rejoice that you have given us the sure and certain hope of eternal life grounded in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Help us to live that new life by the power of your Spirit. May your kindness, love and grace shine from our lives today that others may see Jesus.

Peter Misselbrook