"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage (for Sun., Oct. 28, 2012)
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 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, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 (NKJV)
Most people do not realize how absolutely helpless and hopeless we were before Jesus came to bring us new life. We think we were maybe a bit sick or just needed to try harder. We were asleep and just needed a wake-up call.
The Bible describes a situation that was far more serious. We were DEAD in our trespasses and sins. Man apart from God is not just an unfortunate sinner who just needs a little help. We were dead, we were bound, we were tainted in every part by the stain of sin. Sounds pretty serious, doesn't it? Well it is!
The truth is that all men have offended Holy God and our offense deserves eternal damnation. There is nothing we can do to change that. There is no amount of work, no amount of apologizing, no amount of penance that we can do that will erase our sin.
Therefore, if we are going to be saved, God Himself must do it apart from us. God must do all the work independent of our contribution. In His kindness and mercy (vs. 4) He ACCOMPLISHED our redemption. NONE OF OUR ACTIONS (vs. 5) made any contribution to this great redemptive work.
Then, God APPLIED this redemption to us. He did this by washing us in fresh water. This is the water of redemption. Like a cool mountain stream, He pour it out abundantly on us. This was and is HIS WORK, not ours. The Holy Spirit came to endwell you and brought a renewal of hope, of life, of strength -- He gave you a future.
To God be the glory for all that He has done! It is all OF HIM. Therefore, we can walk in freedom and power, knowing that He is the AUTHOR AND FINISHER of this great work.