But when the goodness ... ... appeared,
and loving kindness
he saved us,
not because of works done by us
but according to his own mercy,
by the washing
of the Holy Spirit,
whom he poured out on us richly
through Jesus Christ
so that ... ... we might become heirs
by his grace
according to the hope
of eternal life.
I'm undecided on Epexegetical or Descriptive on this one. There is not a literal washing, but rather something like washing during regeneration. Washing could be used as a word picture for us to better comprehend what regeneration does in a believer. In that sense, the washing and the regeneration are really the same thing. On the other hand, this could be used to describe what kind of washing is going on. I think I lean toward the first right now.
It has always struck me how Paul used our Savior in this passage. He first uses it of God and then of Jesus Christ. I think this is deliberate to emphasize Christ's divinity.
I realize that this might not be the best way to phrase this part, but I felt that it was a separate idea that should be broken off. I attached this to God's saving of us because it doesn't seem to be subordinate to us becoming heirs. Rather it is something that happens prior to our becoming heirs. further it seems clear from the rest of scripture that it is a critical part of our salvation. Our being justified is part of God's salvations plan for us.
HEAD This salvation description from first to last is done by God. It begins when his goodness and loving kindness appears. It is not because of works done by us in righteousness But according to his own mercy His mercy is expressed in washing of regeneration and renewal of the HS Neither of these are something I can do WHOM he poured out richly - I so often hear the Holy Spirit spoken of as though he were a thing or a force. Whom is used for persons! HE is God. We were't given a small measure to get the job done, but he was poured out richly! abundance comes to mind This is a wonderfully trinitarian verse. All three persons are involved in this great saving. There is a beautiful picture here, as we are caught into the relational family of the Eternal Three in One. We are brought in as heirs into the eternal relationship of Father, Son and Spirit. Below is a quotation of Romans 5:1-11 It is obvious that the same ideas are being addressed. and our justification is intricately linked with our salvation through faith by his grace. This is why I attached it to "he saved us" rather than "so that we might become heirs." Romans 5:1-11 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:1-11 ESV This was done also that we might become heirs. There is a purpose expressed in our salvation, and that is that we might become part of God's family. Co-heirs with Christ HEART He saved us! This is God's active goodness and love being expressed for our benefit!Our hearts should well up with gratitude and worship, because God moved, not out of necessity, or self preservation, or to be thought well of, but out of his abundant goodness and loving kindness! God is good and he is loving and kind. How superior he is to every other god formed in the mind of man! God is the great lover. He loves us not because we are lovely, but because it is who he is! His love is not a theory or an adea only, but it is seen in his actions toward us who have nothing to offer him. We must be humbled, that nothing we did or ever could do caused him to show us his amazing love, but rather, from his infinite stores of mercy, he poured out his love and goodness upon us. He washed us in a way that not only cleans us, but regenerates us and renews us. His love does not flow from the person we are, but amazingly, his love makes us in to the people who we could never be on our own. Further, our great God does not do this from a distance, but he richly pours out his presence on us in the Holy Spirit. God Himself washes over us and makes us new! Being justified by his grace through Jesus' finished work on the cross, he astonishingly makes us heirs. we are now children who can come to a Father! How glorious that he would make us into the people that we might forever more be part the enjoyment of his kingdom! HANDS Worship! What can we do but worship?!? We can only come forward and trust in his sufficiency. We come to Christ and throw ourselves at his feet and we come to the Father intimately as a son or daughter, and we delight in the presence of his Holy Spirit and live a new life. The fact that we are regenerated and renewed, means that our lives moving forward must be different. Our salvation is not dependent on our works, but that does not mean that good works have no part in our life. The verse following makes this abundantly clear. Vs. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. Titus 3:8 ESV Go forth, confident in the God's grace and do the same good works that could not save you. Do them, not because you are earning salvation, but because you have it. Respond to God's goodness and loving kindness, by being good an doing good, that his loving kindness might overflow from your life. May you be a cup in the stream of the eternal fountain of goodness, alway overflowing with his loving kindness.