Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
For we too were once foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to various passions and desires, spending our lives in evil and envy, hateful and hating one another. But “when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, … Titus 3.3-5
People are not innately good. In fact, they are quite the opposite! When left without discipline, a child will learn to be very selfish, throwing fits of temper when they do not get their way. Unfortunately for the child, no one takes pleasure in their company and many may cringe when they arrive. As an adult, their behavior will cause them many problems.
Paul wrote to Titus describing how man acted without God in their life. It was not a pleasant way to live. It was very negative and often full of strife. It seemed hopeless. Mankind has not changed.
Then God stepped into the picture. He had always been there waiting for the right time. God loves man. He always has. But he gave mankind the ability to choose. Man did not choose wisely. Romans 3.23 reads that all sin and fall short of God’s glory. Once having sinned, you are stained and not capable of restoring a relationship with God. Romans 6.23 teaches that the wages of sin is death; that is what is earned.
But God, in his kindness and mercy, made it possible for everyone to make another choice. One choice is to stay in sin, thereby being separated from God, Isaiah 59.1-2. Or you can be born through the washing of the new birth, through faith, obedience, and baptism. The basis of his mercy makes it possible. The result is renewal through the Holy Spirit bringing peace and hope.