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. Tit. 3:4-7 (NIV)
Heavenly Father, if this passage was a violin, it’d be a Stradivarius; if it was a car, a Bugatti, if it was a vacation, it’d be the perfect chalet in the cloudless skies of the Swiss Alps. What a glorious affirmation of the riches of the gospel, Paul gives us in this passage.You’re much kinder than we ever imagined, Father, more loving than we ever hoped, and more sovereign than we realize. Like Abraham, we weren’t seeking you when you found us. Your “kindness and love appeared” to us by surprise. It was entirely your action of measureless mercy and sovereign grace.
As surely as we had zero part in our first birth, so we contributed “zippo” to our second birth. We didn’t “show promise” or potential; you just kept your irrevocable promise to Abraham, to redeem a family as numerous as stars, sand, and dust (Gen. 12-17). Hallelujah, for the mathematics of your mercy.
How generous you were, and remain, with the gift of your Spirit. You didn’t just “dribble” a little Holy Spirit on us. As Paul writes, you poured him out on me “liberally through Jesus”—copious amounts of heart washing, soul-engaging, whole-being goodness. By your grace, we’ve been justified freely and fully. Our guilt is gone and our shame is shattered. The saints in heaven are certainly more joyful than us; but they aren’t more justified, loved, and secure.
Heir-ship and hope now frame and explain the rest of our lives in this world. Because the gospel is this good and this true, free us to live as conduits of your grace, for the blessing of others. We have nothing left to prove or earn, just a gospel to enjoy and share. What a God you are; what a calling we have. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ wonderful and merciful name.