By Grant Hawley
Titus 3:5 is one of those really great gospel verses that makes it so clear that "works which we have done" can play no role in our salvation. Verses like these are a special treasure to me. But I learned something recently about v. 4 that just makes it even better.
Titus 3:4-6 reads:
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior
In v. 4, the word translated "love... toward man" is the Greek word philanthr?pia where we get our English word philanthropy, which is to say love of man (of course, you ladies are included too). Love of man just because he is man. It's the only time in the Bible this word is used of God, but just this once is enough to make an impression.
We were created in the image of God, but we were also made a little lower than the angels, in need of help in everything. In that, I'm reminded at the way I see my four-year-old, beautiful, hard-headed, helpless little boy. What a joy he is. I love him because he's my son, but I also love him because he is so helpless, so in need of a loving father.
So God, being a God of love, loves us too, just because we are men. Beautiful, hard-headed, helpless little men, in need of a loving Father, and in need also of a Savior. And His love, being perfect, provided exactly what we needed.