Thursday, December 21, 2023

Advent Words 2023 ~ Word 10: Salvation


Advent Words 2023
Word 10: Salvation

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 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, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.Titus 3:4-7

This passage in Titus has one of the best descriptions of the incarnation and the first Advent of Christ: “The kindness and love of God, our Savior, appeared." This is the goodness of God. In the previous verse, Titus 3:3, Paul reminded his readers that we once were enslaved by sin, but now, because the kindness and love of God have appeared, we are saved. We were once lost; now we are found and saved by God.

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from The Chosen series. Mary Magdalene says, “I was one way, and now I’m completely different. And the thing that happened in between…was Him.”

It is because of God’s kindness toward us that he offers us the opportunity for repentance (Romans 2:4). Because of His great love for us, he offers us the gift of salvation through His Son. He reminds us in verse 5 that we are not saved because of the righteous things we have done, “but because of His mercy.”.

Take note also that all three persons of the Trinity are involved in our salvation! God the Father, through His kindness and love, sent God the Son to be our Savior, and God the Son poured out God the Holy Spirit into our lives. And, as if all of this were not enough, Paul adds that now that we have been justified by His grace, we are also heirs, having the hope of eternal life. Through Christ, we have new life and the hope of eternal life. This is the gift of salvation!

Notice the bookends surrounding this passage:

“Remind the people to 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 toward everyone.Titus 3:1-2

“This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” Titus 3:8

Paul shows us how renewed people will live out their salvation. Our passage today, positioned between Titus 3:1-2 and verse 8, shows us that the gift of salvation given to us through the kindness and love of God is our motivation to respond to him by living changed lives sharing His goodness and love with others. 

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