“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit”. Titus 3:4-5 (NIV)
Yesterday, I wrote about the fact that as physicians, we tend to be performance based because of our experience during our medical education. Paul clearly states here and in other places within the New Testament that our salvation does not depend upon our performance, but upon what Jesus has already done for us.
Today, I want to highlight the reason for Jesus providing our salvation. Paul states that it was because of the mercy of Christ that He sacrificed His life for us.
To have mercy means to see another person suffering and be moved to relieve that suffering. For many of us in medicine, it was mercy that led us to choose this field. We have the privilege of showing mercy to our patients by helping to alleviate their physical suffering. We understand that aspect of mercy. However, we may not understand what it means to receive mercy because physicians rarely receive mercy. If we make a mistake, people suffer and thus we may suffer as a result of a lawsuit.
Yet, we have received mercy from Jesus. Jesus came and died for us on the cross to relieve our suffering and give us eternal life. Paul tells us that the mechanism for applying that salvation to us is “…through the washing of rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit”. He is saying that Jesus purchased our salvation on the cross, and when that gift is applied to us, the Holy Spirit comes in to renew us and give us a new birth. To apply that gift to ourselves, we must first recognize our need for it. Then, all that is required is to simply ask for it. Our salvation has already been accomplished, so there is no need for us to perform.
If you haven’t yet taken the opportunity to receive Christ into your life, consider making this important decision. If you have accepted Him, rejoice in the mercy and grace He has shown you.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the amazing gift of salvation and removing my need to perform in order to acquire it. Amen.