But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 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, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Beloved, churches throughout the world, week after week, pump out message after message, that focus on man as the centerpiece of the Christian experience. We are given three point sermons that seek to reform our behavior, attitudes, and moral decisions. We are urged relentlessly to do more, be more, seek more, yet how often are you directed to the sufficiency of the cross of Christ? How often do ministers point you to the awesome love and care of Jesus? Christianity is pitched as something we do rather than something that God Himself did, and because of this many are burnt out, tired, and depleted. Sons and daughters have been enlisted into slavery working hard for God. Beloved we have been cheated.
Pure, clean, unfiltered, and unadulterated Christianity is a love affair with God, in which He has done all the work on our behalf and invites us to enjoy Him as He enjoys us! Paul tells us in this passage that God appeared in the person of Jesus, emanating His love and goodness to all who would receive it. He did this for the purpose of rescue, in order to deliver us from harm and set us firm, immovable, and securely in His love once and once for all! This He did, we are told, not because of our self-righteous labors, but in accordance with His infinite compassion and love! He scooped us up, washed us, and renewed us by the blood of His cross and the Spirit of God! He did this out of His grace, and in order to make us heirs along with His son Jesus.
Are you listening to this Beloved? Can your heart swallow this delectable, and savory truth in its fullness? My heart can only take so much! For the Lord’s goodness is at times too much for me to handle! But back I must go and sip again and again from the riches of His goodness drinking deeply from His love!
This verse tells us very plainly that the Christian life is not one of sacrifice, struggle, and reform in some weak and mangled attempt to satisfy God with our moral choices, and upright living. After all uprightness, or righteousness is a gift He gives us! But rather this verse alarmingly describes that the one who surrendered all and laid it all down was God, our Father, for the sole purpose of reconciling you and me back to Himself in fullness once and once for all! Praise God!
The Christian life is a “Duty-free” life in the sense that Christians have no legal duty to God because God is the one who has and will continue to accomplish His will on our behalf! This is called grace! And anything He asks us to do, in the New Covenant, He Himself does with us, in us, and through us! Our only duty is to let Him, and not get in the way by believing the lie that we can do it ourselves! After all the Lord Himself told us there is no way in heck we can do anything of ourselves (Jn 15:5)!
The Christian life is a “Duty-free” life in the sense that we don’t pay any price whatsoever in it! I mean this whole thing is a gift freely given, if we were to pay some price to maintain, sustain, or steward it we would have to conclude that we have been duped and God tricked us! But that is not the case beloved! We have truly been given a gift and it is free! We will suffer persecution. This is true, but the persecution in no way merits, buys, or earns the gift. It is merely a consequence of being light living in a dark world, and something we all gladly endure once we have tasted of the sensational glory of Christ our savior!
Beloved receive this truth today! You have been invited into a life that is free of duty, and there is no price to pay for admission, or stewardship of the prize! It is handed to you as a gift freely because God loves you and wants you! How incredible is that?