Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 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;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.
13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.
14 And let our's also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
“When the kindness of God our saviour and his love towards man appeared, he saved us—not by virtue of any moral achievements of ours, but by the cleansing power of a new birth and the moral renewal of the Holy Spirit, which he gave us so generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (vs. 4, 5).
Jesus talked with Nicodemus about that same “new birth” when He said, “You must be born again.” Nicodemus tried to argue Jesus out of His point, tried to make Him look ridiculous. “What?—do you expect a grown man could go back into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
Jesus didn’t back down, but patiently insisted on such a thorough spiritual renewal. It really was being born all over again—into a new family, with Jesus as Head of the race. The regeneration of the soul requires the very same divine creative energy that brought the universe into existence, that breathed life into the first man back in the Garden of Eden. We can’t re-create ourselves or bring about our own birth, but we can choose it…and the same divine Holy Spirit that Jesus spoke of to Nicodemus will renew us, too.
When we behold the goodness of God, His kindness and glorious beauty, we are drawn to Him…led to repentance…born again!
Artist—designing/building stained glass windows, Spokane Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church, Washington State USA