Mercy: When Is One Saved By God’s Mercy?

    The text for this study is Titus 3:3-5. It reads,
For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit”.
     In Romans 6:23 Paul says “the wages of sin is death”. The first time a man sins, he is worthy of death, spiritual death which is separation from God. The old law proved man was not capable of saving himself, he needed mercy.  God demonstrated mercy toward us in sending his Son to pay the price for our sins as he died on the cross.
      Again the question, when is one saved by God’s mercy? According to the text, it’s not by the works of righteousness which we have done. The fact is, no one can do enough good deeds or works to save himself. If that were the case, then Christ would not have had to suffer death, we would not be in need of mercy.
     For sure we are saved by mercy, but it’s not unconditional mercy. Notice, according to his mercy he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. We see here that God’s mercy is obtained by those who experience the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

     One might ask, what is this washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy spirit?  Let’s look at Acts 2 where people on the day of Pentecost experienced this washing and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Peter had just preached a sermon convincing them that they crucified the Son of God.  Verse 37 says, Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do”. Peter’s answer verse 38, Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”.
     The washing of regeneration takes place when one is baptized in water for the remission of sins. The renewing of the Holy Spirit is receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. One does not earn his salvation
when he is baptized, but is a benefactor of God’s mercy for his obedience to God’s command.
     Yes, by his mercy God saves us, when we are obedient to his teachings.