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May 18 – The inward yet abiding grace of the Holy Spirit

“…Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour…” – Titus 3:5-6 

Scripture reading: Titus 3:1-15

If you have ever checked into a filthy motel room, you know the meaning of disgusting. That experience, unpleasant as it is, in some ways points to the inward, yet abounding, grace of the Holy Spirit. He Who is one with the Father and Son, the true and eternal God, lives within us making our sinful flesh His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).

When the Holy Spirit gives us new birth, He also cleanses and transforms our life. Did you notice the description in verse 3 of how we once were? “…Foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” That description doesn’t apply just to other people; it is a mirror reflecting the darkness of our heart apart from the regenerating and sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit.

Having given us new life, the Holy Spirit cleanses us far more than any maid who cleans a motel room. The cleansing that we have is from Christ, as the Holy Spirit applies the merits of Christ to each one whom the Father has chosen.

After describing the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit, the apostle describes how we are to devote ourselves to doing good and avoid dissensions and quarrels (v. 8, 9, 14). Instead, we are to live grateful lives of praise for God’s saving grace and sanctifying Spirit. May joyful gratitude be reflected in your life and mine – today and always!

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for making our sinful and frail bodies His temple, in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to continue to sanctify us, so that we may more fully reflect His grace and cleansing power to others.

Pastor Ted Gray is a retired minister in the United Reformed Church of North America. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.


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