Note Paul’s use of the word “appeared” (3:4 and also Titus 2:11-14). Christ’s appearance among His people to display “the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior” is presented as the means by which His people are motivated “to devote themselves to good works” (v 8). All true Godliness is a consequence of understanding that God mercifully came and found us. He “appeared” to us. We did not first seek after Him. When Christ appeared, Paul says that God and God alone “saved us” not due to any contribution we may have offered, but solely due to His own mercy (v.5). We learn that His mercy gives us new birth or “regeneration,” the inner renewal of who we are by the Holy Spirit. Salvation through the Gospel is a total salvation, and is totally by way of God’s own free grace. The good news of Christ’s salvation is what enables us to live with Godly devotion – living for Christ without being intimidated by the world or enslaved by its motivations.
Questions for further thought:
1. If I asked you to define mercy, how would you answer?
2. How would you define grace?
Challenge: Mercy is God not giving me what I deserve. Grace is God giving me what I don’t deserve. Do you see how those are different? Read those carefully again and give God glory and praise for both His mercy and His grace!!
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