FP - The Washing of Regeneration and Renewing of the Holy Spirit
“The Washing of Regeneration and
Renewing of the Holy Spirit”
“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” (Titus 3:5).
The renewing of the Holy Ghost is accomplished as the gospel is brought to bear upon the hearts of men. The gospel has been revealed to us through the “holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Eph. 3:5). Hence, when one hears this inspired word, he is hearing the words of the Holy Spirit. Compare the close of the letters written by the inspired apostle John to the seven churches of Asia (Rev. 2, 3): “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” This inspired word is not the Holy Spirit, but rather the instrument which he uses and, indeed, it is powerful (Heb. 4:12; Rom. 1:16).
This word produces faith (Rom. 10:17), tells the story of God’s love for man which leads to repentance (Rom. 2:4), and authorizes baptism (Acts 10:48; Mk. 16:15-16; Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38), by which faith is made perfect (James 2:22). Thus, when a penitent believer, upon a confession of faith in Christ (Rom. 10:10; Acts 8:37), submits to the ordinance of baptism, he is saved by God’s mercy and by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost and without meritorious works on his part.
Marshall Patton (Truth Commentaries series