If at the outset we try to do anything, we get nothing; if we seek to attain something, we miss everything. For Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE. — Watchman Nee
No one was responsible for their own physical birth. It wasn't your idea and you didn't birth yourself. Your mother did that, and if you give her half a moment, she'll no doubt remind you of it! It's called “labor” for a good reason. She worked hard to bring you into this world—but you didn't do any of it. It was her work, not yours—it happened to you!
Regeneration is God's work on our behalf! When you see the verbs that are used in Scripture to describe new life in Christ, the aorist tense is almost always used. The aorist tense is a punctiliar tense, which means “a point in time;” something that happens once. And those verbs are almost always in the passive voice. That means we didn't do it (that's the active voice) but that was done to us (the passive voice). All the key verbs in Titus 3:4-5 are in the aorist, punctiliar, passive voice.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Regeneration is God's work. It's the ultimate second chance, one time, heart transplant by God that makes us righteous and just so He can declare us righteous and just.
So if you feel like you are under religious pressure or feel obligation to do good things to make yourself righteous and just, take the weekend off, will ya? Just focus on the amazing things that God did when He regenerated your spirit by His Spirit through Christ. And rest assured, He will do whatever He wishes through you when you quit trying to do it yourself.
Never forget: The “ultimate do-over” is a done deal!
Oh God, would You take away the nagging sense of religious obligation I feel to make myself righteous and just? I praise You that You have DONE this. Because You regenerated me, there is nothing left for me to do! I worship You for this incredible, mysterious truth. Amen.
Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.