8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. (WEB)
This is one of the most often quoted Scriptures in the Bible. It is something that we can all agree with and say 'yes and amen' to! But my question is this... Do we live in the reality of this truth in our daily life? Is the grace of God something that sustains us today as much as the day when we were first were saved? Do we truly believe that it is by grace and grace alone that we are saved or do we feel the need (in very subtle ways) to do our part to somehow keep our salvation?
If I was to answer these questions honestly, I would have to say that there have been times when I have struggled to believe that the grace of God alone is what continues to keep me. There have been times in my Christian life where I have felt more confident in my relationship with God IF I felt I was putting in a good effort myself. For example... If I was consistent with my personal devotions, then I would have confidence approaching God. ...If I was tithing... If I was growing in spiritual disciplines.... If...If...If...
I am not saying that there is not value to the outward expression of our Christian life. Of course there is tremendous value in how we walk out our faith! But never, and I will say again never, is our salvation based on our own works. It was grace the day we were saved, and it is still the grace of God that sustains us today.
My prayer today is that we would all value the beautiful gift of grace that God has freely given to us ...as much today as the day we came to Christ. Nothing has changed. It was the love of God that reached out to us and it is the love of God that will keep us until we see Jesus face to face. Nothing we can do in our own strength can ever add to what our Father has freely given us in Christ.
May we all be free from legalism and bondage that would cause us to believe that our salvation is somehow dependent on our own personal performance. Our salvation was birthed in the heart of God and our salvation will be kept by the heart of God today, tomorrow and throughout eternity. May Paul's reminder to the church at Galatia be a good reminder for us too!
1 Foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you not to obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth among you as crucified? 2 I just want to learn this from you. Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now completed in the flesh? (WEB)