Part 13 – To be holy (series continued)
The Sabbath rest God took in Genesis pictures God having everything figured out right from Creation, so well and so completely that we can rest too, in total confidence that everything in our lives is working out exactly as he planned.
He even took into account that “At one time we’d be foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures,” Titus 3:3, and that we’d be malicious, jealous and hateful (verse 4). A real mess we would turn out to be, and for the most part totally powerless on our own strength to do anything about it too, personally and globally.
But in his kindness and outrageous love for us God had also planned a Saviour too, and when God’s time came for him to appear, verse 4, “he saved us,” verse 5. And he saved us, note, “NOT because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy,” verse 5. It was all God’s doing – and already planned before we and our world even existed.
So he took all our bad choices into account (having also planned to give us the freedom to choose), and he included a rescue mission in his plan too. A rescue mission in two stages: redemption and renewal.
To start the ball rolling, the “Saviour, Jesus Christ, would give himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify a people for himself that are his very own, eager to do what is good,” Titus 2:13-14. Because of Jesus’ death, therefore, we would stand in God’s presence “holy, blameless and without fault” (Colossians 1:22). His death, then, was the first step completed in making us holy.
But he also “saved us,” Titus 3:5-6, “through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” This would be the second step, as verse 7 goes on to explain, that “having been justified by his grace (first step), we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Through this second step of renewal by the Holy Spirit the holiness we need for our eternal life is completed too.
And both steps are God’s doing. Which has to raise the question: “But surely there has to be something we do, isn’t there?…(more on this tomorrow)