But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour was revealed, he saved us. It was not because of any good deeds that we ourselves had done, but because of his own mercy that he saved us, through the Holy Spirit, who gives us new birth and new life by washing us.” (Titus 3:4–5, GNB)

Definitely a favorite passage for me.  Paul illuminates so well here the nature of our salvation.  It wasn’t by our good deeds that God saved us.  We didn’t save ourselves.  We needed to be saved.  So much truth packed into a few sentences.

How did our salvation come about?  God saved us through his own mercy.  Not because he had to, but because that is what he wanted to do; because he loved us so much for some reason.  Which brings to mind some of the last lines from Francis Thompson’s poem, The Hound of Heaven:

Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
          Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
          Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
          All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
          Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’

Halts by me that footfall:
   Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
   ‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
   I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.’

William Barclay comments here:

“He came to tell men, not of the justice which would pursue them for ever until it caught up with them, but of the love which would never let them go.”