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Titus 3:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But after that the kindness and love of God - By χρηστοτης we may understand the essential goodness of the Divine nature; that which is the spring whence all kindness, mercy, and beneficence proceed.

Love toward man - Φιλανθρωπια· Philanthropy. It is to be regretted that this attribute of the Divine nature, as it stands in relation to man, should have been entirely lost by a paraphrastical translation. Philanthropy is a character which God gives here to himself; while human nature exists, this must be a character of the Divine nature. God loves man; he delighted in the idea when formed in his own infinite mind, he formed man according to that idea, and rejoiced in the work of his hands; when man fell, the same love induced him to devise his redemption, and God the Savior flows from God the Philanthropist. Where love is it will be active, and will show itself. So the philanthropy of God appeared, επεφανη, it shone out, in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, and in his giving his life for the life of the world.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But after that - Greek, when - ὅτε hoteThe meaning is, that “when the love of God was manifested in the plan of salvation, he saved us from this state God appeared” after we had sinned in this way, but that when his mercy was thus displayed we were converted from our sins, and made pure in his sight.

The kindness - χρηστότης chrēstotēs- “the goodness, or the benignity.” The word is rendered “goodness” and “good” in Romans 2:4; Romans 3:12; Romans 11:22, thrice; “kindness,” 2 Corinthians 6:6; Ephesians 2:7; Colossians 3:12; Titus 3:4; and “gentleness,” Galatians 5:22. The act of redeeming us was one of great kindness, or goodness.

And love of God - Margin, “pity.” The Greek word is φιλανθρωπία philanthrōpia- “philanthropy - the love of man.” The plan of salvation was founded on love to man, and was the highest expression of that love; the notes at John 3:16. The Greek of this verse is, “When the kindness and love of God our Saviour to man was manifested, he saved us” Titus 3:5, to wit, from those sins of which we had before been guilty.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Spiritual privileges do not make void or weaken, but confirm civil duties. Mere good words and good meanings are not enough without good works. They were not to be quarrelsome, but to show meekness on all occasions, not toward friends only, but to all men, though with wisdom, Jas 3:13. And let this text teach us how wrong it is for a Christian to be churlish to the worst, weakest, and most abject. The servants of sin have many masters, their lusts hurry them different ways; pride commands one thing, covetousness another. Thus they are hateful, deserving to be hated. It is the misery of sinners, that they hate one another; and it is the duty and happiness of saints to love one another. And we are delivered out of our miserable condition, only by the mercy and free grace of God, the merit and sufferings of Christ, and the working of his Spirit. God the Father is God our Saviour. He is the fountain from which the Holy Spirit flows, to teach, regenerate, and save his fallen creatures; and this blessing comes to mankind through Christ. The spring and rise of it, is the kindness and love of God to man. Love and grace have, through the Spirit, great power to change and turn the heart to God. Works must be in the saved, but are not among the causes of their salvation. A new principle of grace and holiness is wrought, which sways, and governs, and makes the man a new creature. Most pretend they would have heaven at last, yet they care not for holiness now; they would have the end without the beginning. Here is the outward sign and seal thereof in baptism, called therefore the washing of regeneration. The work is inward and spiritual; this is outwardly signified and sealed in this ordinance. Slight not this outward sign and seal; yet rest not in the outward washing, but look to the answer of a good conscience, without which the outward washing will avail nothing. The worker therein is the Spirit of God; it is the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Through him we mortify sin, perform duty, walk in God's ways; all the working of the Divine life in us, and the fruits of righteousness without, are through this blessed and holy Spirit. The Spirit and his saving gifts and graces, come through Christ, as a Saviour, whose undertaking and work are to bring to grace and glory. Justification, in the gospel sense, is the free forgiveness of a sinner; accepting him as righteous through the righteousness of Christ received by faith. God, in justifying a sinner in the way of the gospel, is gracious to him, yet just to himself and his law. As forgiveness is through a perfect righteousness, and satisfaction is made to justice by Christ, it cannot be merited by the sinner himself. Eternal life is set before us in the promise; the Spirit works faith in us, and hope of that life; faith and hope bring it near, and fill with joy in expectation of it.
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (EGW), 1122

10 (Ephesians 1:6; 2:8-10; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 2:14; 3:5; James 2:22). Good Works No Plea for Salvation—Our acceptance with God is sure only through His beloved Son, and good works are but the result of the working of His sin-pardoning love. They are no credit to us, and we have nothing accorded to us for our good works by which we may claim a part in the salvation of our souls. Salvation is God's free gift to the believer, given to him for Christ's sake alone. The troubled soul may find peace through faith in Christ, and his peace will be in proportion to his faith and trust. He cannot present his good works as a plea for the salvation of his soul. 5BC 1122.1

But are good works of no real value? Is the sinner who commits sin every day with impunity, regarded of God with the same favor as the one who through faith in Christ tries to work in his integrity? The Scripture answers, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” In His divine arrangement, through His unmerited favor, the Lord has ordained that good works shall be rewarded. We are accepted through Christ's merit alone; and the acts of mercy, the deeds of charity, which we perform, are the fruits of faith; and they become a blessing to us; for men are to be rewarded according to their works. It is the fragrance of the merit of Christ that makes our good works acceptable to God, and it is grace that enables us to do the works for which He rewards us. Our works in and of themselves have no merit. When we have done all that it is possible for us to do, we are to count ourselves as unprofitable servants. We deserve no thanks from God. We have only done what it was our duty to do, and our works could not have been performed in the strength of our own sinful natures. 5BC 1122.2

The Lord has bidden us to draw nigh to Him and He will draw nigh to us; and drawing nigh to Him, we receive the grace by which to do those works which will be rewarded at His hands (The Review and Herald, January 29, 1895). 5BC 1122.3

28-30 (Genesis 19:24, 25). Rocked in Cradle of Carnal Security—As the sun arose for the last time upon the cities of the plain, the people thought to commence another day of godless riot. All were eagerly planning their business or their pleasure, and the messenger of God was derided for his fears and his warnings. Suddenly as the thunder peal from an unclouded sky, fell balls of fire on the doomed capital. “So shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” The people will be eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage, until the wrath of God shall be poured out without mixture of mercy. The world will be rocked to sleep in the cradle of carnal security.... The multitudes are striving to forget God, and they eagerly accept fables, that they may pursue the path of self-indulgence undisturbed (The Review and Herald, October 26, 1886). 5BC 1122.4

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 65-6

The Jewish elders had commended the centurion to Christ because of the favor he had shown to “our nation.” He is worthy, they said, for “he hath built us a synagogue.” But the centurion said of himself, “I am not worthy.” Yet he did not fear to ask help from Jesus. Not to his own goodness did he trust, but to the Saviour's mercy. His only argument was his great need. MH 65.1

In the same way every human being can come to Christ. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” Titus 3:5. Do you feel that because you are a sinner you cannot hope to receive blessing from God? Remember that Christ came into the world to save sinners. We have nothing to recommend us to God; the plea that we may urge now and ever is our utterly helpless condition, which makes His redeeming power a necessity. Renouncing all self-dependence, we may look to the cross of Calvary and say: MH 65.2

“In my hand no price I bring;
Simply to Thy cross I cling.”
MH 65.3

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Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 75

While we were yet unloving and unlovely in character, “hateful, and hating one another,” our heavenly Father had mercy on us. “After that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” Titus 3:3-5. His love received, will make us, in like manner, kind and tender, not merely toward those who please us, but to the most faulty and erring and sinful. MB 75.1

The children of God are those who are partakers of His nature. It is not earthly rank, nor birth, nor nationality, nor religious privilege, which proves that we are members of the family of God; it is love, a love that embraces all humanity. Even sinners whose hearts are not utterly closed to God's Spirit, will respond to kindness; while they may give hate for hate, they will also give love for love. But it is only the Spirit of God that gives love for hatred. To be kind to the unthankful and to the evil, to do good hoping for nothing again, is the insignia of the royalty of heaven, the sure token by which the children of the Highest reveal their high estate. MB 75.2

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Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 105

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. Romans 12:2. SD 105.1

Will men and women consider how God regards the creatures He has made? He formed man's mind. We do not think one noble thought that does not come from Him. He knows all the mysterious workings of the human mind; for did He not make it? God sees that sin has debased and degraded man, but He looks upon him with pity and compassion; for He sees that Satan has him in his power.17The General Conference Bulletin, April 1, 1899. SD 105.2

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