PAUL’S EPISTLE TO TITUS
THE HOLY SPIRIT POURED OUT ABUNDANTLY
TEXT: TITUS 3:5-6
1. We left off two weeks ago at Titus 3:1-6, but I was not able to say a whole lot about verse 6.
2. My time ran out, so tonight I would like to pick up at verse 6.
3. I will divide my message into three headings.
1. Our English word regeneration is of Latin origin and simply means “to be born again” (cf. Titus 3:5).
2. Our Lord said in John 3:7, “Ye must be born again.”
3. Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit. This is an inward washing. Man cannot do it. Man can wash the outside, but only God can wash the inside.
4. Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit. A church cannot do it (though the Holy Spirit works through the church).
5. John 1:12, 13 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
6. One who is born into this world spiritually dead must be born a second time. It is a spiritual birth and it produces a change in the life of the Christian.
7. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17).
8. Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and other liturgical churches equate the new birth with baptism. Therefore, most of these people do not understand what it means to be genuinely saved.
9. Being born again means being “born of the Spirit” (John 3:6). It is a spiritual birth. Our Lord said in John 3:6, 7, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
10. While the doctrine of regeneration is not emphasized in the OT the way it is in the NT (I will explain in a few minutes), nevertheless it is taught in the OT.
11. You will recall that Nicodemus said to our Lord in John 3:4, “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
12. And then in John 3:9, Nicodemus said, “How can these things be?”
13. Our Lord then said in John 3:10, “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” Our Lord was telling Nicodemus he should have known these things (cf. Ezek. 36:26, 27).
14. Titus 3:5 speaks of the “washing of regeneration.” This should not be confused with water baptism. The waters of baptism do not regenerate. Baptism is a picture and a symbol. The waters of baptism cannot wash away sin.
15. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin. First John 1:7 says, “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
16. Regarding the “washing of regeneration,” we find the same word “washing” in Ephesians 5:26. “That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to transform a sinner into a child of God. This is regeneration.
1. The end of Titus 3:5 says, “by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
2. There is a distinction between regeneration and renewal. One preacher put it this way, “Rebirth emphasizes change, renewal vitality” (John Benton, Straightening Out the Self-Centered Church).
3. Romans 12:1, 2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
4. The Bible teaches us that renewal is a continuing experience. We are continually being transformed by the renewing of our mind.
5. Second Corinthians 4:16 says, “but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”
6. Whereas regeneration takes place one time, renewal is a continuous experience. It is the development and extension of regeneration. “It is the continuing work of the Spirit” (Hiebert).
7. There is a difference between the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
8. In II Corinthians 3:9, Paul refers to the dispensation of law as the “ministration of condemnation.” Why? Because the law condemns.
9. Paul refers to the dispensation of grace as the “ministration of the Spirit” (II Cor. 3:8). There is a contrast.
10. The great commentator Matthew Henry wrote, “More of the Spirit in its gifts and graces is poured out under the gospel than was under the law, whence it is eminently styled the ministration of the Spirit (II Cor. 3:8).”
11. Matthew Henry refers to this as “a more plentiful effusion of grace, fulfilling the promises and prophecies of old.”
12. One of those OT prophecies is Isaiah 44:3, which we will look at in a few minutes.
1. I realize the word “refreshing” is not found in our text, but I think it is easier to remember an outline when it is alliterated. The word used in Titus 3:6 is “shed.” It literally means “poured out.”
2. Our Lord referred to this refreshing outpouring in John 7:37, 38. “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
3. Then the next verse says, “But this spake he of the Spirit” (7:39).
4. We need this refreshing. Isaiah 44:3 says, “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.”
5. The word “refreshing” is found in Acts 3:19, where it says, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
6. If your Christian life is dry, then you need this refreshing.
1. In the OT, the nation Israel was a theocracy, i.e., God was over them. This is seen very vividly in the OT. For example, when the Israelites left Egypt, God was over them in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them through the wilderness.
2. God was over them in a pillar of a cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night.
3. In the OT, God the Father was over His people. When the people of Israel demanded a king to be over them, Samuel was offended (I Samuel 8).
4. Why? Because they did not need a king to be over them, because God was over them.
5. Then when Christ was born, we read, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:23).
6. So in the very first chapter of the NT we see a change. God is not just over them, He is with them.
7. But it is much better now. Now it is not just “God over us,” or “God with us,” it is “God in us” (cf. John 14:16, 17).
8. Our Lord said to His disciples, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16, 17).