By David J. Stewart
Titus 3:5-6, “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 Saviour.”I'm sick and tired of people messing with the doctrine of salvation. You didn't pay for it, so back off and leave it alone! Jesus paid our debt of sin with His own precious, literal, physical blood. God makes the terms of salvation; not men.
There are so many compromised preachers, and wayward Bible teachers today, who have been corrupted by the likes of wolves as John MacArthur. Salvation is a free gift, plain and simple. You don't do anything to deserve it. You don't work for it! You don't do anything to keep it! You just receive it!
If I were to offer you a birthday gift on the condition that you promise to behave better (or be willing to behave better), then it would no longer be a gift; it would become a reward instead. That's exactly what so many false prophets have done to the Gospel, i.e., they've turned it into a reward. May I say, salvation is not a reward.
If a sinner has to clean up his or her act, or intend to reform, or give up the world, or mend their ways; then self-righteousness has a role in salvation. Our text verse in Titus 3:5 plainly teaches that men are saved solely by God's mercy. God's mercy!
So many preachers today, and from times past, have made bold errant statements on repentance only because someone forced them to do so under pressure. There's a gang of self-righteous hypocrites that go around saying, “Don't tell me that a person can be saved by God's grace, and yet continue living in sin and the world!” Their entire mindset is all wrong, based in self-righteousness. What they ought to be saying concerning every born-again believer is that, “We are all sinners saved by God's grace.” All men are sinners, even the best of the best of Christians.
I once met a retired commercial jet pilot who had fallen victim to Charismatic doctrine, who told me that he believed he would lose his salvation instantly if he committed a sin. How sad! If he had truly realized just how sinful he is in God's eyes in his own self-righteousness, then he would have trembled in fear and begged God to forgive him. He is not a born-again Christian. Why? Because he thinks that he must maintain salvation in his own self-righteousness to keep it. A genuine born-again Christian understands that the second birth is just that, a birth. It is irreversible, just as the physical birth. Once a person's soul is born anew by the Spirit of God, there is no going back or losing it.
I meet so many religious people who claim to have had experiences or have attended religious seminars, that are as lost as the Devil. The Gospel is so profoundly simple that it is dangerously easy to corrupt. Some people think they must earn salvation, such as Catholics. Others claim that salvation cannot be earned, but try to earn it nonetheless in denial, such as Charismatics and Lordship Salvationists. And then there are those who ignore the Gospel altogether while professing faith in God, such as Islam and Judaism. Biblical Christianity is trusting Jesus to forgive one's sins.
You didn't die on the cross; so you don't make the rules. Jesus paid for mankind's sins, so only Jesus makes the rules. The Bible plainly states that any sinner who trusts upon Jesus, believing that He is the son of God, will be saved. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
It seems that many people want to tell God His business these days... tampering with the Bible, corrupting the Gospel, perverting the truth. The Holy Sprit doesn't need your help! Leave it alone! Why can't you just accept the truth that salvation is a free gift, paid in full, no strings attached, a done deal. Whether you like it or not, anyone can be saved by simply repenting toward God in faith, i.e., by believing on Jesus to be forgiven of their sins.
God paid for salvation and it is His right alone to tell us how to get it. And thankfully He has told us how in His precious Word, which we have in our inspired King James Bible. John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”