Scripture: Titus 3:1-8
Titus 3:1-8 (Listen)
Be Ready for Every Good Work
3:1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 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, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. (ESV)
(Alt. audio): Chapter: 3 1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.(KJV)
Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, Baptism III
3. How can water do such great things?
The water doesn’t actually do anything by itself. The power is in God’s Word, which is in and with the water, and in faith which trusts this Word of God in the water.
Without the Word of God it is just plain water, and there is no
baptism. But with the Word of God it really is a baptism; that is, a gracious water of life and washing of rebirth through the Holy Spirit.
Just as Saint Paul says in the third chapter of Titus:
“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 . . .” (Titus 3:5-8).
Hymn: TLH 379:
I Do Not Come Because my Soul
— Organ Audio
1. I do not come because my soul
Is free from sin and pure and whole
And worthy of Thy grace;
I do not speak to Thee because
I’ve never justly kept Thy laws
And dare to meet Thy face.
2. I know that sin and guilt combine
To reign o’er every thought of mine
And torn from good to ill;
I know that, when I try to be
Upright and just and true to Thee,
I am a sinner still.
3. I know that often when I strive
To keep a spark of love alive
For Thee, the powers within
Leap up in unsubmissive might
And oft benumb my sense of right
And pull me back to sin.
4. I know that, though in doing good
I spend my life, I never could
Atone for all I’ve done;
But though my sins are black as night,
I dare to come before Thy sight
Because I trust Thy Son.
5. In Him alone my trust I place,
Come boldly to Thy Throne of grace,
And there commune with Thee.
Salvation sure, O Lord, is mine,
And, all unworthy, I am Thine,
For Jesus died for me.