But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared […] according to His mercy He saved us (Titus 3:4-5).
When I think of the mercy, grace, and generosity of God, I am altogether overwhelmed. As creatures without God, we lived a beggarly existence, but now we are saved by God’s mercy, which He has freely given to us through Jesus Christ, thus making creatures a new creation: sons of God! This is too much to comprehend unless God intervenes by granting us understanding. We derive a portion of this understanding from within two of Paul’s letters.
In Paul’s letter to Titus, he shows us who we were before God poured out His mercy, grace, and generosity on us. He writes, “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another” (Titus 3:3). What a condition of spiritual poverty we lived in when we were “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you [we] who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13).
The Apostle Paul, in the next verses, changes direction by showing us what happens when God enters the picture. Whenever the Lord comes into a situation, things change! These scriptures give us clear insight into the heart of God toward us. Paul says, “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7). The Holy Spirit breathes these eternal words through His servant Paul, which exposes the heart of God for us. He uses these lofty words to show the difference Jesus makes in one’s life.
The Father’s generosity, His own nature, and character, has been given to us through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, let us exemplify this same nature and character as we live out His intents and purposes in the earth.