Stop! Don’t read this post. (I know. That’s not an advisable way to start a blog post.)
Before continuing with this post, thought, if you haven’t read the previous post, part 3, please go back and read it here. In this series of posts, we’re studying the amazing teaching of Titus 3:1-8, so actually, I would recommend you start with the first post. But at the very least, please take a few minutes and scan through part 3 in this series, as you need to have a grasp of the verses in Titus 3 that post covered in order to see the significance this one will cover.
What I talked about in the previous post relates to the next phrase in verses 5-6, “renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Paul has been teaching about the transformation that God works in our lives. Christians often call it salvation, and in that amazing gift of grace, Paul says, God pours the Holy Spirit into our lives, further causing renewal to take place. That means God himself enters our lives to renew us. I don’t know that I can understate how important that is.
I get the sense that we need to think and contemplate an awful lot more on the fact that the Spirit of God has been poured out on us to renew us.
In the midst of busy lives, of work, of sports, of Netflix, of TV, of all that you do, have you pushed the Spirit to some tiny corner of your lives? Intellectually, I would agree the Spirit is with me. But in the reality of my day to day life, to what degree do I have a relational connection with the Spirit? If I’m honest, I rarely think about or attempt to interact with the Spirit. How about you? Because God is with us, by his Spirit, however, wouldn’t a deeper connection with the Spirit be something we should look into?
But Paul is not done. Look at verse 7. His thought continues, and there is more incredible news. All this amazing mercy and love and kindness of God, that saved us, washed us, and renewed us from an old way of life, is for a reason. God has a purpose.
Before telling us the purpose, Paul has one more important phrase to set the stage.
Paul says, “Having been justified by his grace.”
“Justified” is a really important biblical theological word, rich in meaning. Oftentimes scholars debate as to how we should understand it. The word that Paul used has the idea of putting things in right relation, or making things right. That’s what God does through Jesus. He is making things right between us and God. Another English word that might be an even better fit is “rectification.” By his grace, God rectifies the situation, he makes it right. As we’ve already seen in the previous post, God makes us into new people, and earlier in this post, God generously pours his Spirit into our lives. God is at work making things right in our lives.
Why would God do this? If it wasn’t because of anything we did, and it wasn’t, why would he do this? As I said, he has a purpose. Paul now puts it all together telling us why God’s kind, loving, merciful gracious salvation appeared into our darkness, saving us, transforming us, even to the point of pouring out his Spirit on us through Jesus. Why would God do all that? Why would Jesus go through the incredible 33 years of his birth, life, death and resurrection?
Paul tells us in verse 7: “so that we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”
This is amazing good news!
Paul is using family language here. God wants us to be his heirs. That means he wants to adopt us into his family. This is exactly what he said in Titus 2:14, that he was making a people for himself. God wants you to be in his family. Stop reading this post, and just dwell on that thought a minute. God wants you to be in his family. Do you know that? What do you think about that?
But wait, there’s more, Paul says! God also wants you to have the hope of eternal life. As I said in the series of posts on Titus 2:11-15, though in that section Paul was teaching about good news in Jesus, he surprisingly didn’t talk about eternal life. He does now. God wants us to have hope of new life with him now and for eternity. That’s how much God wants you to be in his family.
So look really closely at what God has done. Into our mess, God appears and does a work of transformation, giving us the gift of himself, so that we can be a part of his family and have hope for eternal life. That’s good, good news. That’s worthy of jumping, shouting, cheering, praising, and getting on iMessage, Instagram, Facebook or your phone or walking around your neighborhood and saying, “People, do you realize what God has done???” Paul is describing the revolutionary work of God that is available to all: he wants you to become new, so that you can be a part of his family now and for eternity.