Welcome again everyone to Deeper Waters. I do seem to be recovering so thanks to those of you who have been praying. I did have a skeptic come to my blog today shocked that I asked people to pray and I believe it works. Well, I do. Do I need more faith in prayer? I’d say so. I also thank you for the prayers in the other area in my life I’m not sharing right now for reasons I wish to keep secret.
Tonight, we’re going to finish up the book of Titus. We’ll be in the third chapter tonight and looking at verses 4-7. Let’s go to the text:
4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,5he 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, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
This is a passage describing sanctification and it is, well, bathed in Trinitarian terminology as it describes our being bathed in the regenerative work of the Trinity. Now as to what the washing of rebirth means in this passage, I’m going to leave the baptism debate to you all to work out amongst yourselves.
How does Paul start? He starts with the statement of the appearing of the kindness of God our savior. As we go through this text, it will become apparent that he means God the Father. So for now, I ask the reader to simply assume God the Father for the time being.
However, the Father does not do this work alone but he does it by the Holy Spirit. Again, the baptism aspect is for you to figure out, but the transforming power of the Holy Spirit is at work no matter how one views the subject of baptism and whether it relates to this passage or not. Washing could refer to literal baptism or it could refer to a sort of purification using the imagery of water in a metaphorical sense to speak of how we’re cleansed from our sins. The main point we wish to see is that the Holy Spirit is at work.
Now we see why this is talking about God the Father. The text says that He poured out the Holy Spirit on us through Jesus Christ. Notice that the Spirit is also referred to as a whom and the one through whom this is done is Jesus Christ. We see again the way the persons of the Trinity relate to each other.
The end result of this is that we would become justified by grace and have eternal life. Notice however that this is a Trinitarian process. It is God the Father by the Spirit through his Son. All three persons are at work in the Trinity and this passage makes perfect sense in a Trinitarian framework.
No Trinity. No justification.
We shall move on tomorrow.