The process of salvation includes renewing. In Titus 3:5, we read, “He [God] 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” (nasb).
The last aspect that Paul mentioned in this verse is renewing. We must become new creations. Paul said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 niv).
The word “creation” is important, as there is only one who creates—God. Man can manufacture, repair, or produce, but man cannot create. Our hearts and our whole inner beings have been so defiled and distorted by the effects of sin that repairing or patching up is no good. A new creation alone will be good.
In the Old Testament, after David had fallen into adultery, committed murder, and finally been confronted with the awful condition of his own heart, he cried out to God in agony, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10). He knew that creation had to come from God; it could not come about by any human process.
In Titus 3:5, we have seen the three aspects of the process of being saved—a washing, or cleansing; a regeneration, or rebirth; and a renewing, or new creation. God does something that man absolutely cannot do. All of this is by God’s mercy, not His justice. It is not according to our deeds of righteousness—those won’t achieve anything. Salvation has to come from God’s sovereign mercy.