For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 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; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.Titus 3:3-5
In this bible text, we find a complete expression of the gospel message. The following truths are found herein:
1. Our fallen, depraved nature and need of salvation.
2. God loved us, even though we were in such a wretched condition. This love and kindness is what moved God to be our Saviour.
3. Neither God’s love for us, nor His salvation of us, was based on any good work we might do.
4. Salvation is an act of mercy towards us.
5. Salvation in this text is presented as a completed work on His part, “he saved us”. The “us” and “man” in the text are one and the same. If by “man” all humanity is meant, then all humanity is saved (i.e. Universalism), which is false. Else, the “man” is limited to the persons under consideration “us” and these alone are saved by Christ (Particular Redemption), which is true. No alternative position (i.e. Arminianism, Calvinism of various sorts, etc.) is acceptable to this text which does not have Christ alone positively and completely saving the objects of His love.
6. The means of bringing this salvation, the changing of our depraved nature – giving us a living spiritual nature, is by a direct work of the Holy Ghost in regeneration (i.e. the New Birth).
7. This salvation is thorough and complete, “shed on us abundantly”, in the finished atoning work of Jesus Christ.
8. We are justified before God by the grace of God on the basis of the atoning work of Jesus Christ.
9. These saving actions of God “our Saviour” are the reason we may experience hope and heirship in Christ as we live in the here and now.