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; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior (Titus 3:5,6).
Certainly one of the most precious doctrines of all Scripture is that reflected in our text. Our salvation depends not on our own works of righteousness, but upon His mercy and grace, given us freely through the atoning work of Jesus Christ our Savior.
The grand old hymn, found in almost every hymnal, My Faith Has Found A Resting Place, reflects this theme. Let us use its four verses and chorus to focus our study as well as our hearts, these next four days.
My faith has found a resting place, Not in device nor creed; I trust the Ever-living One, His wounds for me shall plead.
Nothing we could do (i.e., device) or nothing we or our church could believe (i.e., creed) can provide a resting place for our faith. For we which have believed [i.e., faith, same Greek word] do enter into rest. . . . For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works . . . (Hebrews 4:3,10). The only work which counts for anything is that which the ever-living One accomplished when He died on the cross. Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes [i.e., wounds] ye were healed (I Peter 2:24). It is not so much our physical health in view here, but the healing of our sin-sick souls.
Since Christ died for our sins (I Corinthians 15:3), there is no more penalty to be paid. Since He rose from the dead; He conquered both sin and its power, and our faith can rest.
I need no other argument, I need no other plea, It is enough that Jesus died, And that He died for me. JDM