Titus 3:5-6 Renewal

Author: Dr. George M. Flattery

Titus 3:5-6 Renewal

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Thoughts from Titus 3:5-6 Renewal

When we talk about our spiritual lives, we often hear this word. In general, we know what it means. In addition, we are familiar with words such as revival, awakening, outpouring, refreshing, and others. These are ways to describe the coming alive of the individual soul and the church.

In recent decades, we have spoken much about charismatic renewal. Emphasis has been given to the charismata, the gifts of the Spirit. Unfortunately, this has not always been accompanied by a like emphasis on the inner, ethical development of man. The charismata represent a Pauline strand, but so does sanctification. Paul, perhaps more than any other, connected the work of the Spirit with the inner growth of man. The inner development should accompany the expression of the charismata.

For several days, we will discuss the New Testament usage of the word renewal. Titus 3:5-6 will be our main text. As additional texts dealing with renewal, we will look at Colossians 3:9-10, Ephesians 4:22-24, Romans 12:2, and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. In Titus 3:5-6 Paul states:

“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, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”

The words that we will concentrate on in Titus 3:5 are “renewing by the Holy Spirit.” Very clearly, Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit is the One who does the renewing. We are dependent on Him for the continual and periodic renewal of our lives. We will examine this further in my next “thoughts.”

More Thoughts from Titus 3:5-6

We are discussing spiritual renewal. Our text says that God “saved us . . . by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
When we come to faith, we are regenerated, and a new birth takes place. The believer is made new. Subsequently, every believer experiences spiritual renewal as he or she follows the Lord. As we are renewed, we are transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

When we accept Christ, we put off the old man and put on the new man. The old man still exists, but the new man dominates our lives. What we have done in principle, we do now in practice. Paul speaks about this renewal in Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 4:23-24, and Colossians 3:10. In one sense it is the new man, the one who has been born again, who is renewed. We might, however, choose to use the term renewal concerning the restoration of the distorted image of God that occurs when one is born again.

The result of our renewal is our transformation, our “metamorphosis.” This is an ongoing process. As Paul states in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

More Thoughts from Titus 3:5-6

Our subject is “renewing by the Holy Spirit.” Our comments are based on this text and supportive passages. In my last “thoughts,” we talked about being spiritually transformed through renewal. Today, our thoughts will gather around being fulfilled by renewal.

Very often we hear people speak about fulfillment. Psychologists discuss the various needs that we have that cry out for fulfillment. Politicians often find out what people want and promise to give those things to them. We could go on. Fulfillment is a common theme in life. We blame others when we are not fulfilled. We sometimes take pride in ourselves when we are.

However, the fulfillment that we have through spiritual renewal is different. Our spiritual fulfillment is based on conformity to the will of God. To the Romans (12:2) Paul said: “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.”

With renewed minds, we will have a basis for the proper expression of the charismata (Romans 12:3-8), the consistent expression of the fruit of love (Romans 12:9-21), and the expression of our devotion in worship (Colossians 3:16). With renewed minds, we serve others and do our best to encourage them.

God wants us to be fully used and to reflect the image of Christ in love. We sometimes do not see ourselves clearly. We do not know what our proper role is, but we can know through a renewed mind. As our minds are renewed, we serve the Lord and reach out to others. This is the way to fulfillment through spiritual renewal.

More Thoughts from Titus 3:5-6

In this text Paul talks about our “renewing by the Holy Spirit. In our previous “thoughts” I have pointed out that we are transformed and fulfilled through this renewal. Today, we will consider the fact that we are sustained through the renewing by the Holy Spirit.

In 2 Corinthians Paul speaks extensively about his ministry. His ministry is a ministry of the new covenant, of the Spirit. Paul always felt unworthy of his high calling, yet he knew it was from God. Because it was from God it was valid and demanded his best.

Many times Paul faced great difficulty in his ministry. In 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, Paul states: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” Even though Paul experienced great difficulties, He was sustained by the renewing of the Holy Spirit.

In 2 Corinthians 4:16-17, Paul goes on to say: “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.”

George M. Flattery, Ed.D., is the founder of Global University and Network211.

Excerpts transferred from a series originally posted on Dr. George's Facebook.

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