But when the goodness of God and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us – not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:4-5 HCSB
My father baptized me at Shawnee Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky when I was 10 years old. I have had the privilege of baptizing all four of my children. It is always a joy for me when I have the honor to baptize people, and especially those whom I have had a part in leading to the Lord.
We are saved because God is good and He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die in our place so our sins could be forgiven and we could gain eternal life. There is nothing we can do to deserve God’s love and mercy. We cannot be good enough to earn salvation. When we become believers, God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and guide us in living a life that is pleasing to Him. The washing refers to baptism, which is a symbolic expression of what has taken place in our lives. We have died to our old selves (our sins have been washed away) and we have been resurrected to a new lives in Jesus. Baptism does not save us. Such an interpretation would violate Paul’s emphasis on salvation through faith alone.
Challenge: Do you sometimes take God’s love for granted? Stop and think about how unworthy you are and that you do not deserve God’s grace and mercy. Praise Him for sending His Son to die for your sins and then sending the Holy Spirit to dwell within you to provide a constant renewing of your mind and thoughts.