A Short Study of Titus 3:5

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done.”
(Titus 3:5)

Good works are very important in their place, the more the better. I hope I do everything within my power to promote good works among God’s saints. But good works have absolutely nothing to do with the accomplishment, preservation or consummation of our salvation. “The kindness and love of God our Saviour toward us” is not dependent in any measure upon our good works. Good works do not cause, sustain or improve the believer’s salvation and eternal relationship with God (Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2nd Timothy 1:9).

Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Every aspect of salvation, from beginning to end, is the work of God’s free grace in Christ. Nothing is dependent upon the works of men.

God’s eternal choice of His people unto salvation was an election of grace, without any consideration of works (Romans 9:11-13; 2nd Thessalonians 2:13). Our redemption by the blood of Christ was a free grace purchase of our souls out from under the curse of the law (Ephesians 1:6-7; 1st John 4:9-10). All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ have been regenerated, born again and called by grace alone (John 1:11-13; Ephesians 2:1-5). We are justified freely by the grace of God through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, without the works of the law (Romans 3:20-28).

Like election, redemption, justification and regeneration, sanctification is a work of grace alone (Hebrews 10:10-14; 1st Corinthians 1:30). We do not sanctify ourselves by our works any more than we can justify ourselves by our works. Christ is our Sanctifier and our Sanctification (Exodus 31:13). God’s saints are all preserved and kept by grace alone; and our preservation by grace is not dependent, to any degree, upon our own works (Jeremiah 32:38-40; John 10:27-29; Romans 8:28-39; Philippians 1:6; 1st Peter 1:5; Jude 24-25).

And our eternal reward in heaven is the reward of grace alone. In heaven’s glory we will not be rewarded for our works, but for the works of Christ our Substitute; and that reward of eternal life shall be given to us as the free gift of God’s eternal grace toward us in Christ (Matthew 25:34; Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 1:14; Romans 8:17; Romans 6:23). The glory and bliss of eternal life is the purchased possession of every believer, freely bestowed upon us by the grace of God, without any works on our part.

D. Fortner

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