Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Some people believe that “washing of regeneration” refers to baptism. They believe that it is the act of baptism that regenerates or brings about the new birth of the lost sinner. Neither of these is true.
“Washing of regeneration” is not “washing for regeneration.” It can be rephrased “regeneration’s washing” – in other words, the washing that came about by or as a part of the regeneration. It is not the washing that causes the regeneration; it is the regeneration that causes the washing. When God quickens our spirit – when he saves us – when he regenerates us, he washes us clean. Consider what the Lord Jesus Christ said when he washed the disciples feet in John 13:
John 13:3-10 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciplesâ€™ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
Notice verse 10: “He that is washed…is clean every whit.” In this passage, Jesus was talking about who was saved and who wasn’t – who was regenerated and who wasn’t. Jesus said he that is regenerated is clean every whit.
The washing came about as a result of the regeneration – not the other way around.