Washing and “Renovation” of the Inner Person (Titus 3:5)

In April this year, The New Paper reported of an elderly couple living in Eunos, Singapore, where the wife hoards things, and every night, her husband has to sleep on a sofa surrounded by mountains of newspapers, bags of leftover food and piles of plastic bottles.

New Paper photo of Eunos hoarder Source:  The New Paper website

This elderly couple’s home is so dirty that it is infested with cockroaches, and in the photograph below, the husband gamely presents some dead cockroaches.

New Paper photo of Eunos hoarder_2

Source: The New Paper website

Fortunately, agencies within the government eventually stepped in and helped the couple to clean up their home.

Cockroahd-infested flat being cleaned up_Straits Times_8May2015

Besides a major washing, perhaps this couple’s home could do with some renovations.

Do you know that the bible also speaks of washing and ‘renovation’, albeit of the inner person?

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5, NASB; emphais mine)

The Douay-Rheims bible translates this verse as “…he saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost” (emphasis mine).

So, the bible tell us that inner man needs washing and renovation, just as a dilapidated, cockroach-infested house is also in need of it. The bible also tells us that washing and renovation is necessary for a person to get saved (“…He saved us through…”; Titus 3:5, NIV). If a person is not saved, he/she is earmarked for destruction, just as old unrestorable houses would.

With regards to the “washing”, this is also what is known as the second birth (see International Standard Version translation of Titus 3:5) or rebirth (see New International Version translation of Titus 3:5), or what Christians commonly refer to as being born again (please see my earlier post entitled ‘What Does It Mean to Be Born Again‘).

However, the “washing” alone is insufficient. A person who professes belief in Jesus Christ needs to constantly allow the Holy Spirit to renew his/her nature (see Weymouth New Testament tranlsation of Titus 3:5) — and herein lies the problem for many believers; they resist the Holy Spirit’s attempts to renew them, or in other words, perform renovation on their lives.

In Singapore, many of us look forward to renovations performed on our homes, because we know that our standard of living can be vastly improved upon its completion. Similarly, let us not resist the renovation of the Holy Ghost (see Douay-Rheims translation of Titus 3:5) in our lives.


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