“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us…” Titus 3:4-5a
Since the day sin entered the world, we have been searching and waiting. Our relationship with God has been broken, not only by Adam’s sin but by our own sin as well. When we look at the world around us, we see the painful evidence of our brokenness and our fallenness. We see suffering, sickness, sadness, and death. This isn't how things were supposed to be on that sixth day of creation, but that's what came when we chose to go our own way rather than trusting God.
In Titus 3:3, we see vividly what life is like without Christ. We are foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others, and hating one another. We can simply turn on the news, scroll on our newsfeed, or look in the mirror to see this.
We need a Savior. We need something more than a list of laws and good works to fix this. And that's exactly what God gave us in Jesus’ birth. Titus 3:4-5 show us the hope and reality that came on that first Christmas morning.
Let’s look at how glorious this first Noel (which means Christmas) truly was:
Our Savior entered into time and space. "But When... God our Savior appeared". God the Son took on flesh and submitted Himself to 24 hour days and the womb of His virgin mother Mary. Could you imagine the God of the universe entering a womb that He created? Let the awe of that mystery sweep over you this Christmas. Consider that the Son of God allowed His skin to be warmed by the sun he created. The stars He made would shine in the right place and the right time to serve as a sign that He would burst into creation to show us His Father's glory!
Our Savior brought goodness and loving kindness. When God the Son came into such a sin-sick world, He could have brought wrath and judgment to the wickedness He saw. He could have given us the wages of our sin, which is death. We have all fallen short of His glory and deserve the just penalty. One day He will return for this very purpose. But in His first coming, Jesus brought compassion and love for dead sinners. He brought good news and freedom to the captives. He brought grace; the kind of grace that binds up the wounds of the broken, gives sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf. He brought the kind of grace that brings dead sinners to life.
Our Savior brought salvation. Some of the most amazing words ever spoken are found in Titus 3:5: "He saved us". We didn't save ourselves because we couldn't. We wouldn't have saved ourselves if we could because we love this world too much. God knew sin would do this to us, so He sent His Son, at the right time, to save us from our sins if we cast off our pride and self-righteousness.
If our Savior didn't appear on Christmas morning, salvation wouldn't have appeared either.
But He did on the first Noel.