The theme for 2021 is “RENEW,” and we’ve been exploring some aspect of that theme on the first Sunday morning of each month. Tomorrow we’ll focus on Paul’s words to the young church planter, Titus, who was in a difficult environment on the island of Crete.
Paul uses a quite powerful word in verse 5 when he writes that salvation comes about by the “washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” The Greek word behind “regeneration” quite literally points to a re-genesis, a “new beginning.”
Here’s what I plan to emphasize tomorrow: Salvation isn’t a self-improvement plan, nor is it joining a church or just trying to live a better life. It’s an absolutely new way of viewing everything. It’s impossible to overstate how radically Paul viewed salvation. It’s not just smoothing out some rough edges, addressing a couple bad habits, engaging in some self-disciplined acts of moral improvement. It is literally the power of the new creation being realized in the lives of people who submit to Christ.
Notice the first part of the chapter: before this power overwhelmed us, we were characterized by quarreling, foolishness, disobedience, lust, malice, envy, and hate. “But when” are two of the most powerful words in the Bible . . . “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared . . .”
Everything changed once and for all. He saved us, and life has never been the same.