Titus 3:5
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

King James Bible
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;

Darby Bible Translation
not on the principle of works which have been done in righteousness which we had done, but according to his own mercy he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

World English Bible
not by works of righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

Young's Literal Translation
(not by works that are in righteousness that we did but according to His kindness,) He did save us, through a bathing of regeneration, and a renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Titus 3:5 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Not by works of righteousness which we have done - The plan was not based on our own good works, nor are our own good works now the cause of our salvation. If people could have been saved by their own good works, there would have been no need of salvation by the Redeemer; if our own deeds were now the basis of our title to eternal life, the work of Christ would be equally unnecessary. It is a great and fundamental principle of the gospel that the good works of men come in for no share in the justification of the soul. They are in no sense a consideration on account of which God pardons a man, and receives him to favor. The only basis of justification is the merit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the matter of justification before God, all the race is on a level; see the notes at Ephesians 2:8-9.

But according to his mercy -

(1) It had its origin in mercy;

(2) It is by mere mercy or compassion, and not by justice;

(3) It is an expression of great mercy, and,

(4) It is now in fact conferred only by mercy.

Whatever we have done or can do, when we come to receive salvation from the hand of God, there is no other element which enters into it but mercy. It is not because our deeds deserve it; it is not because we have by repentance and faith wrought ourselves into such a state of mind that we can claim it; but, after all our tears, and sighs, and prayers, and good deeds, it is a mere favor. Even then God might justly withhold it if he chose, and no blame would be attached to him if he should suffer us to sink down to ruin.

He saved us - That is, he began that salvation in us which is to be completed in heaven. A man who is already renewed and pardoned may be spoken of as saved - for:

(1) the work of salvation is begun, and,

(2) when begun it will certainly be completed; see the notes at Philippians 1:6.

By the washing of regeneration - In order to a correct understanding of this important passage, it is necessary to ascertain whether the phrase here used refers to baptism, and whether anything different is intended by it from what is meant by the succeeding phrase - "renewing of the Holy Ghost." - The word rendered "washing" (λουτρόυ loutrou) occurs in the New Testament only in this place and in Ephesians 5:26, where also it is rendered "washing" - "That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the church) with the washing of water by the word." The word properly means "a bath;" then water for bathing; then the act of bathing, washing, ablution. Passow and Robinson. It is used by Homer to denote a warm or cold bath; then a washing away, and is thus applied to the drink-offerings in sacrifice, which were supposed to purify or wash away sin. Passow. The word here does not mean "laver," or the vessel for washing in, which would be expressed by λουτὴρ loutēr and this word cannot be properly applied to the baptismal font.

The word in itself would naturally be understood as referring to baptism (compare notes at Acts 22:16), which was regarded as the emblem of washing away sins, or of cleansing from them. I say it was the emblem, not the means of purify ing the soul from sin. If this be the allusion, and it seems probable, then the phrase "washing of regeneration" would mean "that outward washing or baptism which is the emblem of regeneration," and which is appointed as one of the ordinances connected with salvation; see the notes at Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." It is not affirmed in this phrase that baptism is the means of regeneration; or that grace is necessarily conveyed by it; and still less that baptism is regeneration, for no one of these is a necessary interpretation of the passage, and should not be assumed to be the true one. The full force of the language will be met by the supposition that it means that baptism is the emblem or symbol of regeneration, and, if this is the case, no one has a right to assume that the other is certainly the meaning.

And that this is the meaning is further clear, because it is nowhere taught in the New Testament that baptism is regeneration, or that it is the means of regeneration. The word rendered "regeneration" (παλιγγενεσία palingenesia) - occurs in the New Testament only here and in Matthew 19:28, - "in the regeneration when the Son of man," etc. It means, properly, a new birth, reproduction, or renewal. It would properly be applied to one who should be begotten again in this sense, that a new life was commenced in him in some way corresponding to his being made to live at first. To the proper idea of the word, it is essential that there should be connected the notion of the commencement of life in the man, so that he may be said to live anew; and as religion is in the Scriptures represented as life, it is properly applied to the beginning of that kind of life by which man may be said to live anew. This word, occurring only here and in Matthew 19:28, and there indubitably not referring to baptism, should not be here understood as referring to that, or be applied to that, because:

(1) that is not the proper meaning of the word;

continued...

Titus 3:5 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Regenerating Work of the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul in Titus iii. 5, R. V., writes, "Not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost." In these words we are taught that the Holy Spirit renews men, or makes men new, and that through this renewing of the Holy Spirit, we are saved. Jesus taught the same in John iii. 3-5, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again,
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

Whether the Foreknowledge of Merits is the Cause of Predestination?
Objection 1: It seems that foreknowledge of merits is the cause of predestination. For the Apostle says (Rom. 8:29): "Whom He foreknew, He also predestined." Again a gloss of Ambrose on Rom. 9:15: "I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy" says: "I will give mercy to him who, I foresee, will turn to Me with his whole heart." Therefore it seems the foreknowledge of merits is the cause of predestination. Objection 2: Further, Divine predestination includes the divine will, which by no means can
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Heretics Ought to be Tolerated?
Objection 1: It seems that heretics ought to be tolerated. For the Apostle says (2 Tim. 2:24,25): "The servant of the Lord must not wrangle . . . with modesty admonishing them that resist the truth, if peradventure God may give them repentance to know the truth, and they may recover themselves from the snares of the devil." Now if heretics are not tolerated but put to death, they lose the opportunity of repentance. Therefore it seems contrary to the Apostle's command. Objection 2: Further, whatever
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Salvation by Grace. Titus 3:3-7.
Salvation by grace. Titus 3:3-7. [Lord, we confess our num'rous faults, How great our guilt has been! Foolish and vain were all our thoughts, And all our lives were sin. But, O my soul! for ever praise, For ever love his name, Who turns thy feet from dangerous ways Of folly, sin, and shame.] ['Tis not by works of righteousness Which our own hands have done; But we are saved by sovereign grace Abounding through his Son.] 'Tis from the mercy of our God That all our hopes begin; 'Tis by the water
Isaac Watts—The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts

Cross References
Deuteronomy 9:5
"It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Ezekiel 36:25
"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

Matthew 3:11
"As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

John 3:5
Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Romans 11:14
if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.

Romans 12:2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Ephesians 2:4
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

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