3 Ways the Gospel Changes Who We Are
The truths of the gospel are STAGGERINGLY GOOD. In Titus 2:13 we see that Jesus is our “Great God and Savior.” He came to save us, we who wanted nothing to do with him. This saving came about as he “gave himself for us” (Titus 2:14) on the cross! What grace and love! There is no greater display of God’s love for us than this (Romans 5:8).
This gospel reality changes us. Titus 2:14 reveals 3 ways the gospel changes us:
We are REDEEMED.
Paul says that Christ “gave himself for us to REDEEM us from all lawlessness” (Titus 2:14). The language of redemption is one of the market-place (Leon Morris and John Stott argue this persuasively). To redeem someone is to pay the price to free them from slavery or death. Jesus has paid the price for our sins, which God’s justice requires, to free us from penalty and power of sin. Thus, in Christ, we are REDEEMED—no longer slaves to our sin, no longer identified primarily by our sin but instead we are identified with our redeemer. We are the redeemed of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are PURIFIED
Paul continues “[Jesus] gave himself for us…to cleanse for himself a people.” (Titus 2:14). Here we see that a Christian is someone who has been WASHED clean from sin. Sin makes us dirty or impure or unclean before our God, who is pure and dwells in unapproachable light. Jesus redeems us and makes us pure. His sacrifice on the cross is all we need to be clean and pure before God. This has tremendous impact on our psychology as Christians: regardless of how loud or persistent our thoughts are which call us impure, the gospel’s voice is more authoritative and truer—we are PURE, and white as snow (Ps 51:7). Jesus makes us purified and clean.
We BELONG to Jesus
A final truth in Titus 2:14 is that a believer belongs to God as a member of God’s people. Now, in a real way, every single person to ever exist already belongs to God—Christians and non-Christians. But those who have faith in Christ are those who—like Israel in the OT—uniquely belong to God, or belong to God in a special relational way. We see that Jesus has purified a “people for his own possession, who are zealous for good works.” A Christian belongs to Jesus, we are God’s workmanship (Eph 2:10). We are His people, a people of his own possession. This brings hope and peace and grounds us in times of prosperity or trouble. We belong to Jesus, we are safe in His hands and no one can snatch us away from him (John 10:28).