Titus 3:4-5 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. NIV
Because of His mercy. God saved us because of His mercy! These four words need to be repeated over and over again in our minds. He saved us because or as some versions translate, according to, His mercy.
Why is this so important to understand? It frees us from the bondage of works. It reminds us that there is no work we have ever done or could ever do that will save us from the judgment of God. Without God’s mercy, we would all remain in our sin.
It means that we do not get what we deserve. Rom 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…,” There is no doubt that because of our sin, our rebellion against God, we deserve to die. If we are depending on our works to save us, we are doomed to suffer God’s wrath. But, the second half of Rom 6:23 says, …”but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The gift of life is given, because of His mercy.
The apostle Paul makes it clear in verse three of this chapter that we all lived in sin of one form or another. Titus 3:3, “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” I am sure you can see yourself in at least one of these descriptions.
He saved us, it says in verse 5, not because of any righteous act of ours, but only because of His mercy. It is because of that mercy that we should desire our lives be a reflection of His. We should be merciful as well. Does that describe you?
It is interesting that we are so often eager to obtain mercy for ourselves, but find it hard to grant mercy to others. However, Jesus said this, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matt 5:7)
James tells us that being merciful it is a critical piece of evidence proving our relationship with Christ. James 2:12-13 “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!”
Peter says, “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you…” (1 Peter 1:3-4)
How could we possibly be unmerciful people when we have been shown such great mercy? Because of His mercy, we should be quick to forgive and quick to show mercy to others.
Jesus told a parable about a man who owed a king an enormous debt, one that he could never pay. The master showed mercy and canceled the debt completely. That man then went to another servant, who owed him a small debt and demanded immediate payment. Since the servant had no money, the man, showing no mercy, had the servant thrown into prison. Once the king found out what had happened, he called the man back. Lets pick up the story in Matt 18:32-35
'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
I think you can see the heart of God in this matter. We have been forgiven so much. God’s mercy on us is immeasurable. We are to called to be people of mercy as well. In our human nature, it would be impossible to show the kind of mercy that God does, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, dwelling in us, all things are possible.
I pray that we, who are believers in Jesus Christ only because of His mercy, will reflect His glorious mercy to the world.
God Bess you