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, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. (Titus 3:4-8)
The question of salvation has divided the religious world for two thousand years and more prominently in the past five hundred years. Martin Luther rejected the works of salvation of the Roman Catholic Church, emphasizing salvation by grace alone. John Calvin advanced the doctrine of grace as the exclusive means of salvation. Almost all Protestant churches born out of the apostate Roman Catholic Church teach a pattern of salvation different from the Bible. Justification by faith alone is prominent among the Christian community of Protestantism. Men like Billy Graham taught if a man accepted Christ in his heart, he would be saved. The doctrine of faith alone is the bedrock of most religious groups.
Paul’s letter to Timothy concludes with a cornucopia of the will of God to save men. It begins with the Father who loved the world to send His only begotten Son. The love of God revealed the mercy of the Father through Jesus Christ. This divine gift was not because of any righteous thing humanity had done but quite the opposite. Nothing was deserving in man to qualify him to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. The wrath of God is what all men deserve. But God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son to die for the sins of all men. Only by the goodness of God did salvation come to men.
No one could claim justification through works of how a man could save himself. Without the grace of God, a man was helpless and without hope. The revelation of God’s love gave all men the blessing of redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Peter and the apostles opened the door of salvation in Jerusalem when they declared the gift of grace through Jesus Christ. When the multitude begged the apostles what to do, Peter declared the message of salvation by telling them to be washed in the waters of baptism where their sins were washed away. Repentance and baptism signified the grace of God to sinful men and three thousand Jews obeyed the word of the Lord. The promise of the Holy Spirit was given to those who obeyed the word of the Lord.
Grace is an abundant gift that can only come from God. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, the mercy of the Father takes a sinful man and washes away all his sins in the waters of baptism. Justification is found in the grace of God, where those who do the will of the Father become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Because of His grace, sinful man is made right in the sight of God, instilling confidence in the promises of God. Eternal life is granted to those who accept the mercy, grace, and kindness of God and obey the gospel message of repentance and baptism for the remission of sins.
Paul urges the saints to trust in God and devote themselves to doing good. He instructs the saved to be careful to maintain good works. This does not dismiss salvation by grace but enhances the pattern of salvation by the blessings of God and the works of men. When a man rejects salvation by works, he denies the teachings of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul confirmed to the saints in Ephesus salvation by grace in tandem with the writings of James that shows faith without works is dead. No one is saved by grace alone or faith alone and no one can be saved by works alone. Paul’s conclusion to Titus outlines the pattern of salvation by grace, mercy, kindness, baptism, love, justification and maintaining good works. He reminds Titus these teachings are good and beneficial for all.