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Titus 3:5 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— not by works [done] in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— 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,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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 Spirit;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— not on the principle of works which [have been done] in righteousness which *we* had done, but according to his own mercy he saved us through [the] washing of regeneration and renewal of [the] Holy Spirit,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Not by works which we had done in righteousness, but, according to his mercy, he saved us—through means of the bathing of a new birth, and the moulding anew of Holy Spirit.—
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— (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,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Ghost.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Not by workes of righteousnesse which wee haue done, but according to his mercy he saued vs, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy Ghost,
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— not by works of righteousness which we had done, but by his own mercy he saved us, by the laving of the birth which is afresh, by the renewing of the Spirit of Holiness,
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— not by works of righteousness which we had done, but according to his mercy, he vivified us, by the washing of the new birth, and by the renovation of the Holy Spirit,

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
by 1537
{1537} Prime
ἐκ
ek
{ek}
A primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence motion or action proceeds), from, out (of place, time or cause; literally or figuratively; direct or remote).
works 2041
{2041} Prime
ἔργον
ergon
{er'-gon}
From ἔργω [[ergo]] (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act.
of 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
righteousness 1343
{1343} Prime
δικαιοσύνη
dikaiosune
{dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay}
From G1342; equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification.
which 3739
{3739} Prime
ὅς
hos
{hos}
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
we 2249
{2249} Prime
ἡμεῖς
hemeis
{hay-mice'}
Nomitive plural of G1473; we (only used when emphatic).
have done, 4160
{4160} Prime
ποιέω
poieo
{poy-eh'-o}
Apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do (in a very wide application, more or less direct).
z5656
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
but 235
{0235} Prime
ἀλλά
alla
{al-lah'}
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
according x2596
(2596) Complement
κατά
kata
{kat-ah'}
A primary particle; (preposition) down (in place or time), in varied relations (according to the case [genitive, dative or accusative] with which it is joined).
to y2596
[2596] Standard
κατά
kata
{kat-ah'}
A primary particle; (preposition) down (in place or time), in varied relations (according to the case [genitive, dative or accusative] with which it is joined).
his y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
x848
(0848) Complement
αὑτοῦ
hautou
{how-too'}
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
mercy 1656
{1656} Prime
ἔλεος
eleos
{el'-eh-os}
Of uncertain affinity; compassion (human or divine, especially active).
he saved 4982
{4982} Prime
σῴζω
sozo
{sode'-zo}
From a primary word σῶς [[sos]] (contraction for the obsolete σάος [[saos]], 'safe'); to save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively).
z5656
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
us, 2248
{2248} Prime
ἡμᾶς
hemas
{hay-mas'}
Accusative plural of G1473; us.
by 1223
{1223} Prime
διά
dia
{dee-ah'}
A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through (in very wide applications, local, causal or occasional). In composition it retains the same general import.
the washing 3067
{3067} Prime
λουτρόν
loutron
{loo-tron'}
From G3068; a bath, that is, (figuratively) baptism.
of regeneration, 3824
{3824} Prime
παλιγγενεσία
paliggenesia
{pal-ing-ghen-es-ee'-ah}
From G3825 and G1078; (spiritual) rebirth (the state or the act), that is, (figuratively) spiritual renovation; specifically Messianic restoration.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
renewing 342
{0342} Prime
ἀνακαίνωσις
anakainosis
{an-ak-ah'-ee-no-sis}
From G0341; renovation.
of the Holy 40
{0040} Prime
ἅγιος
hagios
{hag'-ee-os}
From ἅγος [[hagos]] (an awful thing) compare G0053, [H2282]; sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated).
Ghost; 4151
{4151} Prime
πνεῦμα
pneuma
{pnyoo'-mah}
From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy spirit.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Titus 3:5

_ _ Not byGreek, “Out of”; “not as a result springing from works,” etc.

_ _ of righteousnessGreek,in righteousness,” that is, wrought “in a state of righteousness”: as “deeds ... wrought in God.” There was an utter absence in us of the element (“righteousness”) in which alone righteous works could be done, and so necessarily an absence of the works. “We neither did works of righteousness, nor were saved in consequence of them; but His goodness did the whole” [Theophylact].

_ _ we — emphatically opposed to “His.”

_ _ mercy — the prompting cause of our salvation individually: “In pursuance of His mercy.” His kindness and love to man were manifested in redemption once for all wrought by Him for mankind generally; His mercy is the prompting cause for our individual realization of it. Faith is presupposed as the instrument of our being “saved”; our being so, then, is spoken of as an accomplished fact. Faith is not mentioned, but only God’s part. as Paul’s object here is not to describe man’s new state, but the saving agency of God in bringing about that state, independent of all merit on the man’s part (see on Titus 3:4).

_ _ byGreek, “through”; by means of.

_ _ the washing — rather, “the laver,” that is, the baptismal font.

_ _ of regenerationdesigned to be the visible instrument of regeneration. “The apostles are wont to draw an argument from the sacraments to prove the thing therein signified, because it ought to be a recognized principle among the godly, that God does not mark us with empty signs, but by His power inwardly makes good what He demonstrates by the outward sign. Wherefore baptism is congruously and truly called the laver of regeneration. We must connect the sign and thing signified, so as not to make the sign empty and ineffectual; and yet not, for the sake of honoring the sign, to detract from the Holy Spirit what is peculiarly His” [Calvin], (1 Peter 3:21). Adult candidates for baptism are presupposed to have had repentance and faith (for Paul often assumes in faith and charity that those addressed are what they profess to be, though in fact some of them were not so, 1 Corinthians 6:11), in which case baptism would be the visible “laver or regeneration” to them, “faith being thereby confirmed, and grace increased, by virtue of prayer to God” [Article XXVII, Church of England]. Infants are charitably presumed to have received a grace in connection with their Christian descent, in answer to the believing prayers of their parents or guardians presenting them for baptism, which grace is visibly sealed and increased by baptism, “the laver of regeneration.” They are presumed to be then regenerated, until years of developed consciousness prove whether they have been actually so or not. “Born of (from) water and (no ‘of’ in Greek) the Spirit.” The Word is the remote and anterior instrument of the new birth; Baptism, the proximate instrument. The Word, the instrument to the individual; Baptism, in relation to the Society of Christians. The laver of cleansing stood outside the door of the tabernacle, wherein the priest had to wash before entering the Holy Place; so we must wash in the laver of regeneration before we can enter the Church, whose members are “a royal priesthood.” “Baptism by the Spirit” (whereof water baptism is the designed accompanying seal) makes the difference between Christian baptism and that of John. As Paul presupposes the outward Church is the visible community of the redeemed, so he speaks of baptism on the supposition that it answers to its idea; that all that is inward belonging to its completeness accompanied the outward. Hence he here asserts of outward baptism whatever is involved in the believing appropriation of the divine facts which it symbolizes, whatever is realized when baptism fully corresponds to its original design. So Galatians 3:27; language holding good only of those in whom the inward living communion and outward baptism coalesce. “Saved us” applies fully to those truly regenerate alone; in a general sense it may include many who, though put within reach of salvation, shall not finally be saved. “Regeneration” occurs only once more in New Testament, Matthew 19:28, that is, the new birth of the heaven and earth at Christ’s second coming to renew all material things, the human body included, when the creature, now travailing in labor-throes to the birth, shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Regeneration, which now begins in the believer’s soul, shall then be extended to his body, and thence to all creation.

_ _ and renewing — not “the laver (‘washing’) of renewing,” but “and BY the renewing,” etc., following “saved us.” To make “renewing of the Holy Ghost” follow “the laver” would destroy the balance of the clauses of the sentence, and would make baptism the seal, not only of regeneration, but also of the subsequent process of progressive sanctification (“renewing of the Holy Ghost”). Regeneration is a thing once for all done; renewing is a process daily proceeding. As “the washing,” or “laver,” is connected with “regeneration,” so the “renewing of the Holy Ghost” is connected with “shed on us abundantly” (Titus 3:6).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Titus 3:1-8.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Titus 3:5

Not by works — In this important passage the apostle presents us with a delightful view of our redemption. Herein we have, The cause of it; not our works or righteousness, but "the kindness and love of God our Saviour." The effects; which are, Justification; "being justified," pardoned and accepted through the alone merits of Christ, not from any desert in us, but according to his own mercy, "by his grace," his free, unmerited goodness. Sanctification, expressed by the laver of regeneration, (that is, baptism, the thing signified, as well as the outward sign,) and the renewal of the Holy Ghost; which purifies the soul, as water cleanses the body, and renews it in the whole image of God. The consummation of all; — that we might become heirs of eternal life, and live now in the joyful hope of it.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Titus 3:5

Not by works of (a) righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the (b) Holy Ghost;

(a) Literally, "of works which are done in righteousness": and this passage fully refutes the doctrine of meritorious works.

(b) Which the power of the Holy Spirit works.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
by works:

Job 9:20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: [if I say], I [am] perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.
Job 15:14 What [is] man, that he should be clean? and [he which is] born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean [that is] born of a woman?
Psalms 143:2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
Isaiah 57:12 I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.
Luke 10:27-29 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. ... But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Romans 9:11 (For [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Romans 9:16 So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Romans 9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Galatians 3:16-21 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. ... [Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: ... Not of works, lest any man should boast.
2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

according:

Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Psalms 62:12 Also unto thee, O Lord, [belongeth] mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.
Psalms 86:5 For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
Psalms 86:15 But thou, O Lord, [art] a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Psalms 130:7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD [there is] mercy, and with him [is] plenteous redemption.
Micah 7:18 Who [is] a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth [in] mercy.
Luke 1:50 And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from generation to generation.
Luke 1:54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of [his] mercy;
Luke 1:72 To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
Luke 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
Ephesians 1:6-7 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. ... In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 2:10 Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

washing:

John 3:3-5 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. ... Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

renewing:

Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.
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Jb 9:20; 15:14; 25:4. Ps 51:10; 62:12; 86:5, 15; 130:7; 143:2. Is 57:12. Mi 7:18. Lk 1:50, 54, 72, 78; 10:27. Jn 3:3. Ro 3:20, 28; 4:5; 9:11, 16, 30; 11:6; 12:2. 1Co 6:11. Ga 2:16; 3:16. Ep 1:6; 2:4, 8; 4:23; 5:26. Col 3:10. 2Ti 1:9. Tit 3:4. He 4:16; 6:6. 1P 1:3; 2:10; 3:21.

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