Sunday, October 14, 2018

We Were Once Foolish - But Then God's Goodness Appeared

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy... 

We who are Christians are no different than anyone else. We were born into the world in sin, lived out our lives according to our own desires, and denied that Jesus was God. 

Paul talked about this in Ephesians 2:1-3. We were by nature children of wrath, just like everyone else. He echoes this in Titus 3:3 by saying that "we ourselves were once foolish..." 

Because of this, we should NOT look down upon others in the world, because they do not believe in Christ, or behave a certain way. This is in fact, hatred.

Paul says so in our passage above, saying that we were "hated by others and hating one another."  We know from John's definition of love in 1 John 5, that by "hatred," Paul means that we were not keeping the law of God towards our fellow man. For the law always points us in the direction of love behaviorally (see 1 John 5:1-3).

It was during this season of life that God appeared in our lives. Titus 3:4 " "But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared..."  The Lord came to us while we were being hated and hating others, while we were unbelievers, while we were not seeking him (See Romans 3:11). 

The goodness and loving kindness of God appeared while we were denying him, while we were doing whatever we wanted in this life. And these led to our salvation.  "...He saved us."

He saved us from our sins, from our guilt, from sure judgment and condemnation. This is what his goodness and loving kindness led to - our salvation.

He didn't save us because we were good, or smart, or rich, or moral or anything else. We were no better or no more deserving of salvation than anyone else.  In fact, there was absolutely nothing in us or done by us by which he saved us. He saved us "...not because of works done by us in righteousness." 

Instead, his goodness and loving kindness led to his having mercy upon us.  Mercy is when God does not give us what we deserve. 

How much mercy did he have on us? The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 103:10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. (KJV)

We sinned and sinned away, and he did not give us what we deserved. Instead, through his goodness and loving kindness, he saved us - saved us from sure judgment. 

We were foolish. God was good, and kind and merciful to us. And because he was, we were saved from our sins. 

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