To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. – Titus 3:2-7.
It can be easy to look down on people who are not saved and constantly walking in unrepentant sin. We sometimes want to “write off” certain people in our lives or even famous people we do not know personally, as being “too far gone” to ever see the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and thus no longer “worthy” of our prayers or concern for their salvation and eternal destiny. But before we get off into deeper spiritual error, the passage from Titus above reminds us that we were too were once in total rebellion against God.
All born-again, Bible-believing Christians must remember that at one point we all sinned with no concern for God’s judgment. We once did not believe in salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. We once were jealous of others, pursued pleasures of the flesh, harbored racist or sexist attitudes, stole from others, gossiped, cursed, blasphemed the name of God, led others into evil behavior and a host of other sins with no repentance. And in many cases we justified our behavior as even being good. And we were destined for hell and the lake of fire, which we rightfully deserved.
But now we have a new spirit and have been forgiven and regenerated. Now we love The Lord, praise His Holy Name, read and believe His Word and put our faith and trust in the sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ. Now we repent of our sins and feel shame at the evil we still commit. Now we are saints of the Most High God! But this did not happen because we were good people. This did not happen because we were “better” than “those really bad sinners.” It had happened by grace – God’s undeserved favor and “kindness” towards us. It happened because while we were wretched sinners committing all sorts of evil acts and thinking all manner of sinful thoughts, God sent His Son to die for those same sins. And not only are we “justified” or declared righteous in the eyes of God, we are heirs to the eternal Kingdom with Jesus Christ The Lord. Because by our faith in Christ, we are “in Him.” All as a gift from The Lord. But God tells us in Isaiah: “hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.” In our salvation we must never forget the doomed, filthy state God rescued us from.
None of this was earned. None of this we deserved. But we receive it because of God’s love. And that love should be what we aim for when looking at those who are wreaking havoc in our lives, who hates us or who are so far gone into sin they seem like they have no hope of ever even considering the Bible, much less putting faith in Jesus Christ. They can be saved. They can be redeemed. They can have a renewed mind and heart for God. And you should know this. Because you were once just like them.