It’s the start of a new season. A lot of work has gone into getting ready for the year. The teams have built or rebuilt a cars. They put a lot of time, work, and thought into the car for the coming season and will continue throughout the year. Tracks and series have made updates: new staff; new sponsors; new schedule. Part of what is needed comes down to determining what is best left behind. God is interesting in making us new as well. That principle is the same in salvation and we will come back to it at the end. For now let’s look at some verses from Titus, chapter 3.
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
First off we see that we need reminders. Same as in many areas of life, in racing we sometimes need to be reminded of the rules and expectations. In drivers meetings I hear jokes about the same things week after week. I get a kick out of Jefferson and Cliff Rucks being repeated, but this is important and there is no excuse for not knowing a rule or expectation. God does the same with His Word. There is a lot of repetition and I’m glad for it.
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
The gospel and the salvation message is something that needs repeating often. The gospel starts with God. He is perfect, holy, righteous, glorious, and so much more. He is set apart from all men. He is Father, Son and Spirit. We see the state of man in this verse. At the core, man hates and is being hated. Romans 3:10, 23 and 6:23 makes it clear that man is sin-filled. And it’s not just in Romans but we see scripture from the Old Testament to the New Testament filled with this truth. This is true of you and I.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
A couple of Sunday’s ago I made my kiddos laugh when I said, “Don’t you love it when we see a ‘but’ in Scripture?” How wonderful it is as God transitions from the sin of man, each one of us, to what God has done. God is Savior. He is kind. He loves. And God has made it very clear to all who have their eyes open. God saves us. He is the one who moves in our life to change our darkened heart. God makes it clear that it is not us that does anything to be saved. It is a work of God. Now let’s be clear, our life will be changed as we agree with God that sin is disgusting. We will want to run from sin and run to God. What does God do for us to be saved? He pours out His mercy on us. He washes us and regenerates us. He renews us by His Holy Spirit. All of this is through Jesus Christ and thus we are justified by His grace so that we become His heirs, all according to the hope of eternal life. There is so much rich theology in those verses and next time we will unfold more of those ideas. Let’s think about a couple of verses outside of Titus to finish today.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; Acts 3:19
Therefore, you shall keep the commandment and the statutes and the judgments which I am commanding you today, to do them. Deuteronomy 7:11
What’s clear here is that we can have peace with God and that’s the difference between heaven and hell. It is as serous as it sounds. Don’t miss out. It is clear that we are made new in Christ by the Spirit. We are NOT going to be the same. If you say you are saved and there is not a change in your life; if you are still an image of the world; then there has to be a question of true salvation. This thought is continued by the “therefore” of Acts where repentance has to be part of our salvation. Repentance is a change of direction from the direction we were going to the direction God wants and wills. And lastly, the fourth “therefore” reminds us to follow the commandments set by God. He gets to establish the rules and we are to follow them. This is just good stuff. Read it over, go slow and let it sink in. It should be life changing and drive us to worship the Master and King; the LORD Jesus Christ.