Titus 3:5, “He saved us through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit”
Many years ago when I donated blood, a nurse gave me a card to read while a pint of the vital red fluid was flowing out of my vein. The card showed the percentages of people who have different blood types. Some of them were: O Positive – 37.4%; A Positive – 35.7%; A Negative – 6.3%; B Negative – 1.5%. However, the rarest blood type, AB Negative, is found in only 1 in 167 people, or 0.6% of the population. Then the card made this eye-catching statement, “The rarest blood type is the one that’s not there when you need it.”
That statement reminded me of a blood supply that is one of a kind and always available to those who ask for it. 1 John 1:7 states, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” My friend, it was the death of Jesus Christ, the shedding of His blood, that satisfied the demand of a holy God as payment for our sins (Hebrews 9:12, 22). So now, whenever a person cries out in faith to God, repenting of their sin and pleading for forgiveness, their prayer for salvation is answered. Titus 3:5 puts it this way, “When we put our trust in Jesus as our Savior, we are not only forgiven but also transformed from the inside through the renewing activity of the Holy Spirit.”
Author Michael Green tells the story about a man who said that before God dramatically changed his life he was “an embryo” gangster, already with a list of crimes which society could level against him, and sins which accuse him of their own accord.” Today this man is a military chaplain. Here is his testimony, “The living Christ has given me what no court, no psychiatrist, no probation officer could give me, the consciousness of sins forgiven. The joy of a loving wife, two children, and a happy and secure home have shown me that through the living Christ even one who, like myself, was once described by a magistrate as a ‘social menace’ can be more than just tolerable. That is something of the difference that Jesus Christ has made and continues to make in me. I am deeply grateful that Jesus Christ was willing to die on the cross, giving His blood for me, so that forgiveness was available when I needed it. Thus, when we see our need of God’s forgiveness and believe in Jesus, our sins are washed away and the Holy Spirit makes us new people Titus 3;5). Then, as we walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), He continues to work in us to make us more like Christ.
While writing this, I was reminded of 1 Timothy 1:2 which states, “To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord”. Thus, Grace, Mercy and Peace are the three sisters of salvation. Grace is the foundation of our redemption; Mercy is the manifestation of our redemption, and Peace is the consummation. My friend, these three words sum up our complete salvation that we have in Jesus Christ.
(1) Grace points to the past – our salvation goes back “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).
(2) Mercy speaks of the present – it is manifested to us day by day; and
(3) Peace is the consummation because it makes our future secure.
Grace is receiving what we do not deserve. Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. We deserve to go to hell, but by His mercy we shall never go there. We do not deserve to go to heaven, but by grace we’ll spend eternity there. Grace justifies and mercy pardons. Grace admits us to heaven and mercy saves us from hell. The death of Jesus Christ was enough to pardon us in mercy, but it took the resurrection to effect our justification. He “was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Romans 4:25). And now my friend, by faith, we have “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). No matter how bad or how good we may be, the bottom line is that we all need Jesus Christ and we all need to be cleansed by His precious blood! So, the question remains:
(1) Have you been cleansed from your sin by the precious blood of Christ?
(2) Or, are you relying on the efforts of your own good works and religious activities?
Jesus Christ only opens the door of heaven to those who open their heart to Him.