Titus 3:5                    The Washing of Regeneration                            10/21/2007    ßà   

 

 

 

 

#1.       Not By Works of Righteousness (Tit 3:5, 1Thes 1:3, Isa 64:6, Rom 3:20, Eph 2:8-9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       Through the Washing of Regeneration (Tit 3:5, Eph 2:3, 5:26, John 4:14, 3:5, Rom 10:17)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       These Things Affirm Constantly (Tit 3:8, Eph  2:10, 1Cor 10:31, 2Cor 5:14-15, James 2:26, 1John 4:19, Tit 2:14)

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Epistle to Titus, Tit 3:4 (2X). You find the Epistle to Titus at the end of the Epistles of Paul, just before Hebrews. Since we have four baptisms today I decided to interrupt our series in the Gospel According to Matthew, and to let us focus today on the meaning of baptism. While we are studying this passage in Titus, I would like you to ponder how this passage might be related to water baptism. Therefore the title of this sermon is, The Washing of Regeneration (2X). Let us then see what God is telling us here in Titus 3:4-8.

Tit 3:4  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

Tit 3:5  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;

Tit 3:6-8  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.            This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

The first thing we see in verse 4 is that something made its appearance after a certain event took place. And the reason why we are looking at these words so intently is that these are words spoken by God. Put a sticker here in Titus 3, and please turn in your Bibles to the Second Epistle to Peter, 2Pet 1:21 (2X). You find the Epistles to 1st and 2nd Peter right after Hebrews and James. An important question is: Who wrote the Bible? Most people believe that the Bible was written by about 40 people and that the church collected these writings and called this collection the Bible. But that is false information. Listen to what the Bible says of itself, in 2Pet 1:21,

2Pe 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

In other words, all the words in the Bible, which the Bible calls “prophecies”, did not originate by the will of man, “but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”. It means that holy men sent by God spoke, and while they spoke words were given to them by God the Holy Spirit, and when they wrote these words God the Holy Spirit moved their hands. And thus this verse, 2Pet 1:21, says that God wrote the Bible, and God used humans as instruments to bring the Bible into existence. This is the only sensible way to learn to know the God of the Bible. If the Bible were the product of men, then the god of the Bible is no god at all but is the product of men. Let us then return to Titus 3:4. God says in this verse that the resurrected Christ made His appearance after He was put to death at the cross. It was at the cross that the kindness and love of God toward man appeared, for there He endured the payment of the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for the sins of all those He came to save. Remember that verse 4 begins with the word “But”. It means that this kindness and love of God was applied to the sinners of the previous verse. When you check the previous verse, Tit 3:3, there are nine sins listed there, and Titus 3:3 begins with the word “WE”. We were those sinners in time past, before the moment of our salvation. And then in verse 4 God shows us the contrast: “But” for those who committed every sin in the Book, “the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared”. You want to take special notice of the words “God our Saviour”, for here we read that the Lord Jesus Christ is God. He is not just the Son of God, like many people in the cults believe, but He is almighty God. We read in Col 2:9, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”. Let us now turn our attention to Titus 3:5, which is the focus text of our sermon.

#1.       Not By Works of Righteousness (Tit 3:5, 1Thes 1:3, Isa 64:6, Rom 3:20, Eph 2:8-9)

Tit 3:5  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;

What are works of righteousness? Works of unrighteousness are sins, and sins are transgressions of the Law of God. Therefore works of righteousness are works that are in obedience to the Law of God. For example, one of God’s laws is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”. If we obey this command and we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that is a work of righteousness. But God says here in Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done”. Some people might object that we call “believing on the Lord Jesus Christ” a work. But the Bible is very clear that faith is a work; it is a good work. For example, God says in 1Thes 1:3, “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith”. And thus, the action that we take in turning to Christ in faith, or making a decision for Jesus, or deciding to follow Jesus, are all works of faith, and God calls these “works of righteousness”. But God says in Tit 3:5 that we are not saved by our works of righteousness, we are not saved by taking the action of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead,”according to His mercy He saved us”. Many churches around us believe and teach that we must take the action of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, and then God will save us. They say that we must obey the altar call, or we must say the sinner’s prayer, or we must first be baptized in water, or we must first speak in tongues, and some say we must first depart out of a church. But these are all works, and God says in Tit 3:5 that works do not contribute in any way to our salvation, no matter how holy or how righteous those works may appear. The reason why our works cannot contribute to salvation is that every one of those works is not done perfectly. Even after our salvation sin cleaves to every one of our works. For example take the act of believing. How sincere were we when we believed? Were we sincere enough? And how much sincerity is good enough? And if we were not sincere enough, then sin was cleaving to this act of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. And so we see that none of our works is good enough to be presented to God for our credit. God says in Isa 64:6 that all our good works are as filthy rags. None of those works are good enough. Therefore God says in Rom 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”. Therefore, if the faith in which we repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ  is not a faith that is given by God,  but is a faith that is conjured

up by our own self, then that faith is empty and of no value to God. That is why God says in Eph 2:8-9

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Therefore none of the works that come of our own selves, either works that we have done, or the works that we are going to do, are of any credit to us, “lest any man should boast”. How then can we be saved? Well, Tit 3:5 goes on to say,

Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy if Micah, Mic 7:18 (2X). If all the credit must go to God, then none of the works that we DO can be contributing in any way to our salvation. It is not our will and action that matters, but it is God’s will and action. For example, God says in Rom 9:16,

Ro 9:16  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

This really is the Gospel of the Bible. This is the Good News of the Bible. For the Bible says in Eph 2:3 that “we all were by nature the children of wrath” even as others who never become saved. And thus we all were on the way to Hell. If God did not interfere we would all end up in Hell to satisfy the righteousness, or the justness of God. But the Good News is that God did interfere in the affairs of man, and that God does save by His mercy and grace and not by works. But God had to take the initiative in our salvation. If God had to wait until anyone of us would respond to the Gospel call, then no one would be saved. You see, it is in the character of God to be merciful, for we read in Mic 7:18,

Mic 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.

He delighteth in mercy”. On whom does God have mercy? Is God merciful to everyone in the world? Will God be merciful to Adolph Hitler, or to Joseph Stalin, or to terrorists who commit murder in the last millisecond of their life? And you can clearly see that if God would be merciful to them, then He would be an unrighteous judge, for He will reward those who really deserve to go to Hell. In fact, most of mankind is on the way to Hell. But let me read this verse again to you. Mic 7:18,

Mic 7:18  Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?

Who is the remnant of His heritage? Is this the entire nation of Israel? Of course not! The Bible is very clear that Judas Iscariot is one of those who will go to Hell. God speaks about the remnant of His heritage. Is this then a remnant out of the nation of Israel? And again this would not fit the words of the Bible, for we read in Gal 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”. In other words, there is no more any distinction between Jews and Gentiles, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. The ground is level at the foot of the cross. According to the NT the remnant of His heritage is the remnant chosen by grace out of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues out of this entire world. On them God will have mercy, and God will not have mercy on all those who remain all their life enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ, because God did not pour His grace upon them.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of First Samuel, 1Sam 2:8 (2X). When we speak of God’s mercy and grace, we should keep in mind how mercy and grace are defined in the Bible as well as in our daily use of the English language. “Mercy” is withholding what we do deserve. What do we deserve? The penalty of Hell. If God has mercy on us He will withhold Hell from us, because the Lord Jesus Christ paid the equivalent of an eternity in Hell on our behalf. On the other hand, “Grace” is receiving what we do not deserve. Grace is unmerited favor. Can we merit unmerited favor? Absolutely not! If God pours His grace upon us He gives us freely the glory of eternal life with Christ in heaven. And so, here we see the two-steps of our salvation. After we were born into this world we committed sin after sin, at least 50 times in a day, and the penalty to pay in Hell only increases with age. Then God has mercy on us, which takes us from the depths of total depravity up to ground zero. We do not have to go to Hell, which is already a great blessing indeed. But then God pours His grace upon us and He declares us sons of God, which takes us from ground zero all the way up almost to where God is, for there is where the saints are. We read in 1Sam 2:8 about this transformation from sinners to saints. We read in 1Sam 2:8 these glorious words,

1Sa 2:8  He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.

Can you see the outworking of this double inheritance of mercy and grace? In the Bible God commanded fathers to give their firstborn sons a double inheritance. Since the Lord Jesus Christ is called the “Firstborn from the dead”, we who are the Bride of Christ are also called firstborn, for in Heb 12:23 we are called the church of the firstborn. This is our double inheritance: mercy and grace. And look carefully at the words “throne of glory” there in 1Sam 2:8. This throne is in the singular. Is that not amazing? We will share the throne of glory with the Lord Jesus Christ, because we are adopted as His Bride. And since God’s selection of those whom He will save does not depend on our works, God will Himself select whom He wants to save and whom He will pass by. And God does not do that at the spur of the moment throughout history when we are being born into this world, but God, who knows the end from the beginning, has already decided that before He created the first speck of dust. Now, I did not make this up, but this is abundantly documented in the Scriptures. God says in:

2Tim 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.

For His own purpose and grace God has given us this pledge that He will call every one of His own elect unto salvation. This is what God sware to Abraham by an oath. This is what God promised when He sent the Lord Jesus Christ to suffer and die for our sins. This is also what God says through the pen of the Apostle Peter. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle of First Peter, 1Pet 1:3 (2X). You find 1Peter almost in the end of your Bibles right after Hebrews and James. This epistle of Peter was sent to the Christians who were scattered throughout Asia Minor and who were in need of a word of comfort in their persecution. God was aware of their need. And then we read in 1Pet 1:3,

1Pet 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,

The Father “hath begotten us again”. Why again? The first time He has begotten us in Adam. But Adam sold his entire inheritance to Satan. And this is how the entire human race was taken into the house of bondage, the army of Satan that is opposing God throughout history. Then Christ came, and Christ bought us back out of the house of Satan. That is why the Father “hath begotten us again” at the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It was only at the resurrection that the atonement of Christ was complete. It was only then that He had spent three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. And this is when the Father’s abundant mercy was obtained on our behalf by the Lord Jesus Christ. We had no more penalty to pay. Please drop down to 1Pet 2:10 (2X). For whom did the Lord Jesus pay this payment? It was for the remnant chosen by grace who were in the clutches of Satan, and who were redeemed out of the kingdom of Satan. We read in 1Pet 2:10,

1Pet 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.

Now, we should keep in mind that at the time the Lord Jesus paid for our sins, all our sins were still future sins. And thus His mercy was promised to us when Christ rose from the grave. Let us now return to Tit 3:5. Please turn about 30 pages to your left to the Epistle to Titus, Tit 3:5 (2X). We have seen that we have not been saved by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us. And then we read of an amazing washing:

#2.       Through the Washing of Regeneration (Tit 3:5, Eph 2:3, 5:26, John 4:14, 3:5, Rom 10:17)

Tit 3:5  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;

What is this washing of regeneration? Could this refer to water baptism? Many commentators and churches think so. Even John Calvin thought that this refers to water baptism. But that is wrong. We have seen thus far that any of our works of righteousness cannot be a contribution to our salvation. Water baptism is something that WE DO, which is a work. And no matter how holy and righteous this act may be, it cannot be a contribution to our salvation. The misinterpretation of this verse primarily rests on the word “washing” and this is equated to the outward washing that occurs in water baptism. But what is the meaning of the word “regeneration”? We are regenerated when we are “born again”, or “born from above”. Webster’s dictionary defines it as “to be subject to spiritual regeneration”. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 3:5 (2X). And what has “washing” to do with it? Well, we must remember God’s words in Eph 2:3 that before the moment of our spiritual regeneration “we were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”. Both physically and spiritually we looked just like anyone else, and our sins were just as glaring and sinful as those of others who never become saved. That is the meaning of the words, “even as others”. But then at a certain moment in our life God the Holy Spirit touched our soul, and then God the Holy Spirit applied the payment for our sins that Christ already made on the cross. At that moment our sins were washed away completely; all past, present, and future sins were washed away. This is the washing that took place at our regeneration, and this is the meaning of the words in Tit 3:5. God confirms this washing of our sins, the cleansing of our soul, in Eph 5:26 where He speaks of the sanctification of the church.

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

This does not refer to the water of baptism, but literally the Greek text says, “by the washing of the water in the word”. Is there any water flowing out of your Bible when you open it? Of course not! But the water in the word refers to the water of the Gospel. The Gospel flows like water out of the mouth of the evangelist. The Gospel is compared to water, because the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit being poured out like water on Pentecost, and because the Lord Jesus in John 4:14 compares a preacher of the Gospel to a well of water. And thus the eternal church is sanctified and cleansed by hearing the Gospel, and being touched by God the Holy Spirit. Moreover, the Lord Jesus said in John 3:5,

Joh 3:5  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.

This is an often misunderstood verse. Here again the water refers to the Gospel. “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit” means “Except we hear the Gospel and it is accompanied by the action of the Holy Spirit” we are not saved. Just to hear the Gospel is not sufficient to regenerate our soul. We cannot be saved by just reading and studying the Scriptures. The scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ days studied the scriptures all their life, and they still did not understand what God meant, because they were not touched by the Holy Spirit when they read the Scriptures. Likewise, no one is going to be saved while laying on his bed, doing nothing. We must come face to face with the words of the Bible, or to say it better: We must come face to face with Christ, who is the Word of God. That is why God says in Rom 10:17, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”.

Tit 3:5  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;

What does the renewing of the Holy Ghost refer to? Please turn to the Gospel According to John, John 14:16 (2X). The Bible teaches that from the moment that we are born from above we are body and soul translated out of the kingdom of Satan and are placed in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. So completely are we translated out of the kingdom of Satan that he cannot come to us any more by whispering temptations in our mind. In fact, Satan cannot read our mind any more, like he used to do when we were still under his control. The only way Satan can reach us is through others, who may tempt us, or contaminate us with an illness, or persecute us. But God will only allow this to come to pass if it is for our benefit. Our soul is instantly cleansed from all our sins. In fact, our soul is cleansed to the extent that any sin we commit is instantaneously removed from us, because Christ has already paid for that sin also. Our soul has been saved and is ready to enter into heaven, for our in our soul we have received the righteousness of Christ. Moreover, our soul has become the dwelling place of God the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus said in John 14:16, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever”. In other words, the Holy Spirit will dwell in our soul from this day forth and forever into all eternity. But it is not only the Holy Spirit who will dwell within our soul. Please drop down to John 14:23 (2X), where the Lord Jesus said in John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and WE will come unto him, and make our abode with him”. In other words, the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of Christ shall join the Holy Spirit within the soul of every saint, to dwell in his soul from this day forth and forever into all eternity. And so, if the Spirit of the Triune God considers it proper to dwell within each of our souls, it means that our soul must be perfect and clean, and remain that way. That is why God says in 1John 3:9, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His Seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God”. All those who have been “born from above” cannot smear another sin on their soul, for the Seed of Christ remains in them. However, our body is still the same body that we had before the moment of our salvation, and is still a body that is inclined to sin. But God in our soul makes His presence known, and our bodies will gradually tend toward more and more service for Christ, and to doing those things that are pleasing in His sight. This is the renewing of the Holy Ghost written in Tit 3:5. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Ezekiel, Eze 36:25 (2X). In Eze 36 God speaks through the pen of Ezekiel to the mountains of Israel, and to the house of Israel. But the northern kingdom of Israel was already dead for 150 years, and the southern kingdom of Judah was already destroyed by the Babylonians. So who is God addressing when He speaks to the “house of Israel”? We remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is also called Israel, and thus the Bride of Christ is also called Israel. Now this passage we are going to read is definitely one of those OT prophecies that describes the condition in the NT times. Here is  a passage that speaks of being born from above. We read in Eze 36:25-28,

Eze 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.      A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Eze 36:27-28 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall

keep my judgments, and do them.  And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Here is an OT passage that clearly ties in to Tit 3:5. Verse 25 speaks of the washing of our souls, not the washing of our bodies. And the symbol of the washing of our souls is by sprinkling clean water. Verse 26 speaks of the renewing of our soul by the Holy Ghost. Verses 27 and 28 speak of the sanctifying influence our saved soul has on the works of our body. God says I will “cause you to walk in my statutes”. And what is the land that God gave to our fathers? The land God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the Kingdom of God, for God gave it to them forever, and we know that the land of Canaan does not last forever. And so, here is where the passage of Tit 3:5 ties in with Eze 36:25-28, and here is where this washing is outwardly symbolized by water baptism. Therefore this church baptizes by sprinkling, for this is what Eze 36:25 clearly teaches. We do not know when we have come to Christ. We can only see what goes on externally, but only God knows if something has taken place internally. When we let ourselves be baptized with water, we must not put our trust in the sign or the ceremony. The quantity of water is of no consequence. That is what goes on externally, and it is only a work of man. We do not put our trust in the actions of man. Rather, let us focus on what goes on internally, which is the work of God in our soul. Let us focus on the work of God that He applies by washing us from our sins through the process of regeneration, which God does at His own time, whenever He wills, and which most of the time does not occur at the time of our water baptism. Therefore, let us look for the signs that tell us if our names are written in heaven. Please turn again to the Epistle to Titus chapter 3, Tit 3:8 (2X). Let us now look for the application in this passage, which is found in the last verse of the passage that I read in the beginning, Tit 3:8.

#3.       These Things Affirm Constantly (Tit 3:8, Eph  2:10, 1Cor 10:31, 2Cor 5:14-15, James 2:26, 1John 4:19, )

Tit 3:8  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

What is God referring to when He says, “This is a faithful saying”? Literally the Greek text says, “Faithful is the Word”. What is this referring to? Faithful is the Gospel that is summarized here in verses 4-7. And God says to us: “These things I will that thou affirm constantly”. God says that we must repeat these things constantly. When we preach from this pulpit we must preach the Gospel. We must not let ourselves be diverted into other matters, which are most of the time peripheral matters, which do not lead anyone to salvation. There are always some people in attendance who still need to be saved, and thus they must hear the Gospel. Therefore this is what I intend to do in every sermon. I must preach the Gospel of Christ crucified, for if only one soul would turn to come to know the Lord we have robbed Satan’s treasure chest by a magnitude that is greater than the value of the entire world. And what is the result of preaching these things constantly? God says here in Tit 3:8, “In order that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works”. A significant correction is in order here. The Greek text says, “they which have believed God”, whereas the KJV says “they which have believed in God”. To believe in God may not be to our credit, for the devils also believe in God, and they tremble. But to believe God means that we believe what God has said in the Bible, and to this we agree wholeheartedly. They which have believed God refers to all the saints, who believe the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and everything else in the Bible. Therefore we agree with God that we should repeat this summary of the Gospel constantly, so that they which have believed God also might be mindful to maintain good works. There are things that are called good works. Even though we do not do them perfectly, God the Holy Spirit cleans up these works by cleansing the imperfections from off them, and so they end up as good works that are pleasing in the sight of God. But all the credit goes to God for placing these good works in our path. For we read in Eph  2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”. Here is a clue to show the reasons why God saved us. We were created to do the good works which God foreordained to be done. Therefore God created the good works, placed them in our path, so that we walk through them. What good works did God have in mind? For example, preaching, and Bible study, and witnessing the Gospel to save lost souls from going to Hell are examples of good works. But also the work of saints in preparing meals, and in cleaning their houses, and in raising their children, is an integral part of lubricating the machinery of the church, and so these activities also are in the category of good works. We must dedicate all our activities to the Lord, so that we will do all things to the glory of God (1Cor 10:31). And thus, when we believe God we are daily confronted with Christ crucified, and in our gratitude we repeat to ourselves the Gospel which we want other people to have. God summarized this for us in 2Cor 5:14-15,

2Co 5:14-15  For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:   And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Since Christ died, all the elect in Christ have died with Him, and have been raised to a new life in Him. Therefore the love of Christ constrains us to live for Him, and to do all we can to please Him, for we love Him. This is where our love for Christ shows in our works. That is why we read in James 2:26

Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

We love Him because He first loved us, (1John 4:19), and that is the reason why, if we believe God, we are driven to serve Him forever. God says in Tit 2:14,

Tit 2:14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

AMEN.                        Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.