Posts 11 and 12, I analyze Titus 3:4–7 (NASB95), which reads:

4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds [ergon] 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, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Post 11 looks at the background relevant to Titus 3:4-7.


Generally speaking, Titus’ role was to establish a sound and healthy church on Crete. However, as a part of Paul’s instructions, he warned Titus about false teachers and the damage they could do.  See Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 335). Broadman & Holman Publishers; .Constable, T. (2003). Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Tt 1:1). Galaxie Software.  While there could have been others, one category of false teachers was the Judaizers identified at Titus 1:10 (NLT) [emphasis added]:

10 For there are many rebellious people who engage in useless talk and deceive others. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation.

The NLT translates the Greek phrase hoi ek tes peritomē as “those who insist on circumcision for salvation.”  Note that the NLT adds “for salvation” to expand upon the meaning of the noun circumcision.  A translation handbook reads:

One probable reason why Paul refers to this group as the circumcision party is that some of them were teaching that Gentiles or non-Jews must be circumcised before they can become Christians. In other parts of the New Testament, there are references to Jewish Christians who insist on adherence to Jewish rules (including circumcision) as a requirement for non-Jews to become Christians. This may have been the same case in Crete as well. In cultures where talking explicitly about circumcision will simply confuse readers or may even be offensive, translator’s may say “especially the Jewish Christians.” However, if the rite of circumcision is well understood, one may translate “especially those Jewish Christians who teach that Gentiles must be circumcised before becoming Christians (or, before receiving baptism).”

Arichea, D. C., & Hatton, H. (1995). A handbook on Paul’s letters to Timothy and to Titus (p. 275). United Bible Societies.

The Life Application Bible Commentary – 1 & 2 Timothy & Titus, (1993), Tyndale House Publications, Inc., Wheaton, IL at page 259 briefly describes the Judaizers [italics in the original]:

The false teachers Paul and Titus faced were those of the circumcision, the Judaizers (see also 1:14).  These were Jews who taught that the Gentiles had to obey all of the Jewish laws, rules, and rituals before they could become Christians.

Verses 13-14 (HCSB) [emphasis added] demonstrate the danger the Judaizers posed to the church on Crete:

13 This testimony is true. So, rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith 14 and may not pay attention to Jewish myths and the commands of men who reject the truth.

It is reasonable to say that Paul had in the works-oriented Judaizers when he wrote Titus 3:4-7.  By writing this passage, Paul intended to emphasize the importance of teaching the doctrine of salvation not by religious works, but by grace through faith.  Zehr writes:

In good Pauline fashion, salvation and grace come through Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own (2:14). This salvation comes not by any works of righteousness that we have done (3:4–7), but by God’s grace, which teaches us to live godly lives (2:12; 3:8).

Zehr, P. M. (2010). 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus (p. 237). Herald Press.  Emphasis added.

Some passages in Titus also reveal Paul’s emphasis on sound doctrine, which included salvation by grace and not by works.  For example, Titus 1:9 and 2:1 prove that sound doctrine is important [emphasis added]:

[Titus 1:9] holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. … [Titus 2:1] But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.

Per Titus 2:11, 14a, salvation is by grace:

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, … 14a who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed,

The passage I will analyze in more detail per Post 12, i.e., Titus 3:4-7 [NASB95], teaches justification by grace and not by works:

4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 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, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.


The relevant background to Titus 3:4-7 identifies the severe threat to the church on Crete posed by the works-oriented Judaizers.  Works of any sort threaten the sound Christian doctrine that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and not by works.  See Ephesians 2:8-9.  The threat from a works-oriented soteriology highlights the relevance of Paul’s message to Titus for the 1st Century Christian church.  Paul’s message remains relevant for the 21st Century Christian church.


If you are unsure about your salvation, you need to check out my book The Salvation Meter: Biblical Self-Diagnostic Tests to Examine Your Salvation and Spiritual Growth (book link at Xulon Press: ).  At Amazon the book link is .  I also have a website in which I am updating the content in the book.  The link to my website for the book is .


… please (1) read through “God’s Plan of Salvation” so you can understand what God did for you through His only unique Son, Jesus Christ, and (2), from the bottom of your heart, pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” meaning every word.  If you do, you will be reconciled to God – saved – through Jesus Christ. 

God’s Plan of Salvation

In the beginning, God, who is holy, created the entire universe.  As a part of His creative actions, He made humans in His image to know Him.  For a while, everything was right between God and our ancestors, Adam and Eve.    But Adam sinned, and his sin was passed down to all of humankind whereby we became separated from God.  Nothing we could do on our own could bridge that separation so that without God’s intervention, hell would be our eternal destination.   

Fortunately for us, in His great love and mercy God provided humankind with the only means of salvation, which is through Jesus Christ who is God’s only unique Son.  While retaining His deity, God the Son became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever repent and trust in Him for their salvation.  Jesus rose from the dead, showing that God the Father accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us has been exhausted.  He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust alone in what Christ did to save us. 

If we repent of our sins and completely trust in Christ alone that He died for our sins and rose to life from the dead, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God. 

Scripture References: Genesis 1:1, 27, 31; Habakkuk 1:13; Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-25;  Genesis 3:1-7, 23-24; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:19-20, 23; 5:17-19; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 John 4:10; John 3:16-18; Mark 1:15; Romans 1:4; 4:25; John 3:5-8; 1 Peter 1:3.

 “Sinner’s Prayer”

Lord, Jesus Christ, the only unique Son of God, thank You for Your free gift of eternal life.  I know I’m a sinner who cannot save myself no matter what I do, and I deserve to spend eternity in hell.  But, I know that because You loved me so much, You voluntarily died on the cross for me taking my sins upon Yourself, and You physically bodily rose from the grave showing that Your sacrificial death was sufficient payment to give me eternal life in Heaven.  I now repent of my sins and trust alone in what You did for my eternal salvation.  Please take control of my life as I now receive You as my Lord and Savior.  Thank You so much for saving me.  I am now Yours forever! (Scripture references: John 1:1-4, 11-14; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-26; Isaiah 53:4-6; Mark 1:15; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10, 13; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 10:27-29).

Upon your salvation, you must find a spiritually solid Bible-believing church that (1) teaches that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God, (2) believes in the doctrine of the Trinity, which means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and each Person is fully God, and (3) teaches that salvation is by grace through faith and not by works (e.g., water baptism by immersion).

ONE CAUTIONARY POINT.  Please do not make the mistake of thinking that once you become a Christian, your life will become easy.  Most likely, it will become more difficult.  God’s blessing of salvation and life’s difficulties are not mutually exclusive.  Jesus told His disciples, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” John 15:18 (NLT).  Always keep in mind that you have an eternal home in heaven waiting for you per John 14:2–4 (NLT):

2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.  4 And you know the way to where I am going.”



I am mindful of and respect the rights other authors and/or publishers possess in their works.  I thus try my best to not violate any copyright rights other authors and/or publishers possess in their works.  The below copyright permission statement is the result of my best efforts to understand that limited usage or “fair use” is available and/or to secure direct permission for specific works.  The quotations from commentaries are considered to be “fair use.”

Scripture quotations marked “ESV” are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Scripture marked “NASB95” are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”

Scripture marked “NCV” is taken from the New Century Version.  Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.”

The Scriptures marked “NET” are quoted are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved”.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.  All rights reserved.

Scripture marked “GW” is taken from the God’s Word Bible that is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations.  Quotations are used by permission.