Saturday, August 27, 2016

great things He has done...

artwork by Tamara Peterson

TamaraPeterson’s amazingly creative artwork always inspires me. I noticed in this beautiful piece she incorporated two small pieces of the pages from a hymnal with the lyrics of one of my favorite hymns, radiating the glory of God with her stunning upward brush strokes.

To God be the glory, great things He hath done; So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, And opened the life gate that all may go in. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, To every believer the promise of God; The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.  As I worshipped with
To God Be The Glory, performed by the Royal Albert Hall audience and stage choirs, I was inspired to do a word study of Titus 3:5:

NASB: 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.

Amplified: He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

: He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.

: he saved us - not by virtue of any moral achievements of ours, but by the cleansing power of a new birth and the moral renewal of the Holy Spirit.

: not by deeds of uprightness which we performed [in our unsaved state], but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.

Young's Literal
: (not by works that are in righteousness that we did but according to His kindness,) He did save us, through a bathing of regeneration, and a renewing of the Holy Spirit.

(sozo) has the basic meaning of rescuing one from great peril. Additional nuances include to protect, keep alive, preserve life, deliver, heal, be made whole. Sozo means that He delivered us, rescuing us from danger, loss and ultimately from eternal destruction. He daily preserves us, making us whole by the renewing by the Holy Spirit.
He saved us is aorist tense which records the saving act as a past fact. The us here is all who have accepted salvation in Christ. We now possess salvation "past tense," each of us having been saved at a certain point in time when we confessed "with our mouth Jesus as Lord, and believed in our heart that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9) He delivered us that we might be "made complete" in Christ (Colossians 2:10) "for of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace." (John 1:16).

Righteousness (dikaiosune from dikaios = being in accordance with what God requires, being in accordance with God's compelling standards) when referring to God's righteousness is all that God is, all that He commands, all that He demands, all that He approves, all that He provides in and through Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:21). The -súne ending makes this an abstraction. Righteousness fulfills the claims of díke, which, in the case of the believer, are God’s claims. Since God Himself is the standard of the believers, the righteousness of God means the righteousness which belongs to God. Anything done in our own righteousness (John 15:5) is filthy rags and an abomination before the Lord. Dikaiosúne is conformity to the claims of higher authority. It is a gift (Romans 5:17). God’s righteousness is imputed and imparted as a gift to believers and not earned.

Mercy (eleos) is “the self-moved, spontaneous loving kindness of God which causes Him to deal in compassion and tender affection with the miserable and distressed.” Eleos is the outward manifestation of pity which assumes need (which is all children of Adam) on the part of him who receives it and resources adequate to meet need on part of him who shows the mercy. Eleos is kindness or concern shown for someone in serious need. Mercy implies compassion that forbears punishing even when justice demands compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power. God’s mercy, His loving and benevolent pity for the misery brought about by our sin, precedes His saving grace and continues to be actively demonstrated after the work of that grace. God’s mercy is extended for the alleviation of the consequences of sin. Grace identifies the free nature of salvation, that which is unmerited and without obligation. Eleos is the application of grace and reminds us that redemptive freedom rescued us from the pathetic condition of our sinfulness. In John 3:16, God loved in mercy and gave in grace.

Pastor Matthew Henry
comments on eleos demonstrated in the parable of the prodigal son: "His father saw him—there were eyes of mercy; He ran to meet him—there were legs of mercy; He put his arms round his neck—there were arms of mercy; He kissed him—there were kisses of mercy; He said to him—there were words of mercy; Bring here the best robe—there were deeds of mercy; Wonders of mercy—all mercy! Oh, what a God of mercy He is! Oh, what a precious reception for one of the chief of sinners!"

Regeneration (paliggenesia from the adverb palin = back, again, back again + noun genesis = origin, race and birth in turn derived from ginomai = cause to be ["gen"-erate], to become, to begin to be or to come into existence) means literally a birth again and so to be born again. In every day speech paliggenesia denoted various kinds of renewal—the return or restoration of something, return to former circumstances, termination of captivity, restoration to health following a birth or illness.

Greek scholar Kenneth S. Wuest commenting on the use of paliggenesia in
Titus 3:5 writes: “Regeneration is described as a washing here. The Word of God is conceived of as a water-bath cleansing the life by putting out of it things that are sinful, and introducing into it, things that are right. In our present text, regeneration is spoken of as a bath in that the impartation of the divine nature results in the cleansing of the life by the fact that the new life from God provides the believer with both the desire and power to do the will of God and to refuse to fulfill the evil nature whose power has been broken by the identification of the believer with the Lord Jesus in His death on the Cross."
Renewing (anakainosis from anakainóo = renew qualitatively in turn from aná = again + kainóo = make new in turn from kainos = qualitatively new) means to cause something to become new and different with the implication of becoming superior - a renewal, a complete change for the better, a renovation.

Greek scholar Kenneth S. Wuest writes: "Anakainosis  is a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better. This is accomplished through the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who when definitely, and intelligently, and habitually yielded to puts sin out of the believer’s life and produces His own fruit. He does that by controlling the mental processes of the believer.”

To God be the glory, great things He has done. The greatest thing in all our lives is to worship God. That’s what we were created to do. When we give honor to God, He blesses us and lights our path. When we look at His glory and holiness, He gives us His perspective, and everything else pales in comparison. But when our busyness pushes worship aside and our focus gets off the finished work of Jesus Christ and onto the things of this world or ourselves, we lose our way. He delights in those who reverently honor Him and put their hope and trust in His unfailing love and mercy, not in their own ability. Today, if you’ve put your hope in anyone or anything else, ask the Lord to forgive you. But don’t stop there. Ask His Spirit to so work in your life that your primary goal becomes honoring and pleasing God.

Precious Savior, forgive me for getting wrapped up in myself and my tasks and forgetting to give You the glory for all the great things You have done in my life and in the world around me. Create in me a heart of worship. This day I give honor to You and worship You for the glory of Your name, for the splendor of Your holiness! Thank You for the free gift of salvation, that I am justified on the basis of Your finished work on the Cross. Thank You that, right now, I am under the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. Because I have placed my trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, I am redeemed by Your precious blood. The threat of failure, judgment, and condemnation has been removed. Knowing that God’s love for me and approval of me will never be determined by my performance is the most encouraging promise to which I cling—To God be the glory, what great things You have done! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Titus 3:5

Look In
—as you meditate on
Titus 3:5 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.

Look Out—as you meditate on
Titus 3:5 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.

* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

Weekly LinkUps…


  1. Whenever I explain the glory of God to kids, I always use the words, "God's shining greatness." Of course, I use them with myself too, because just the sound of them lifts my heart. As does that lovely rendering by Tamara!

    1. Amen, Michele! I so agree with you...our words cannot express the awe that fills our heart when we think of Who He is and the great things He has done. Many blessings to you and your sweet family!

  2. I love that hymn and thank you so much for reminding me of it! God bless you, sweet friend. :)

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Cheryl. Many blessings to you and your sweet family ❤️

  3. Such a great hymn! I haven't heard it for a while so it's good to be reminded and I enjoyed your reflections on it.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Lesley. Many blessings to you ❤️

  4. Yes, to God be all the glory! What a wonderful God we serve who is always faithful and full of mercy. Blessings to you, Beth! I'm your neighbor at #TellHisStory.

    1. Amen, Gayl...I so agree with you...all praise and honor and glory to His Holy Name! Many blessings to you ❤️

  5. Amen. He saved us. No truer, no more powerful words have been spoken, lived out, and died for.

    Beautiful truths, Beth!

    1. Linda, thank you so much for stopping by! You are such a wonderful encourager to me and so many others...many blessings to you ❤️

  6. Matthew Henry says so very much in so few words! I love this and will be singing what I know of "To God be the Glory...." Thanks, Beth, and thank you so much for visiting me yesterday. I felt so blessed.

    1. Linda, yes, I so agree with you about Matthew Henry's precious comments on the mercy of God with the prodigal son (all of us) are such a sweet encourager...many blessings to you!

  7. Such a great word and song you share here Beth. Glad for the opportunity to visit your site today! I am so thankful for God and all the things He has done. Most important is His unconditional love which allows us to benefit from His grace. May we never take for granted our Savior and all He has done. Oh what blessings! Have a wonderful week Beth. Blessings to you and yours.

    1. Horace, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such an encouraging comment. I hopped over to your blog and was so glad I did! You have such a heart-felt way of expressing your love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Many blessings to you ❤️

  8. This week I need to carry love, gentleness, kindness in a place where sorrow and conflict will be. Your study reminds me to be in constant worship of God and strive for winsome to those I come in contact with. I needed this message. Thank you! ~Maryleigh @bluecottonmemory

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with me. It is my prayer that others will be encouraged by what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has used to encourage me. Many blessings to you!


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