Second, salvation is based on God’s own mercy. “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy” (Tit. 3:5). The preposition “according” is in the accusative case—“according to, in accordance with” or “on the basis of.” (Gingrich) God saved us according to, in accordance with, and on the basis of God’s own mercy alone. Literally, in the Greek, it reads, “according to the mercy of himself” (kata to autou eleos), which is translated “his own mercy” (ESV). This mercy comes from God. God extends this mercy toward us sinners. Then in v. 7, Paul says that we are justified “by his grace.” Hence, there is no other basis for our salvation from sin, except the mercy and grace of God. God saved us not by our own works but only on the basis of God’s own mercy and grace.
Some people believe that if they will do good things, God will have mercy on them and forgive them. But salvation is not based on our works plus God’s mercy. Some believe that if they will do good works and the church will grant them forgiveness, then God might forgive them. But salvation is not based on our works plus the church’s works.
We are saved from our sins only by the mercy and grace of God, and not by our works of righteousness, religion, or religiosity.
Salvation is based only, solely, and exclusively on God’s mercy. That’s what God’s Word says. Which will you believe—the word of your religion or the Word of God? We believe only God’s Word, the final authority for what is true. God saved us not by our works but by God’s own mercy alone.