“For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favour) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through your faith. And this salvation is not of yourselves (of your own doing, it came not through your own striving), but it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 (Amp)
Some of us have accepted Jesus as our Saviour. We realize salvation is a free gift. It becomes ours when by faith we repent of our sin (self-sufficiency) and admit “it’s only through Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross that I am made right with God.” We receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour and LORD.
But so soon, we slide back into the performance trap. We want God to be pleased with us and so we work hard at it. Can you relate?
I taught Sunday School, led a women’s group, sang in the choir, gave money to missions, became a missionary myself–besides caring for my husband and five children. One day I collapsed. The doctor advised bed rest. As I was lying in my bed, I kept thinking is this what God expects of us? No!
In the Bible I read that God values me not for what I achieve but for who I am in Christ: I am a child of God, (Ephesians 1:5) a citizen of heaven (Ephesians 2:19) a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).
What about good works? What role do they play? For we are God’s handiwork recreated in Christ Jesus, (born anew) that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us to do (Ephesians 2:10)
As we surrender to Him, He works in us and through us. It’s not our striving but His living in me that produces the good works. Good works are not the root of our salvation, but its fruit.
When I began to realize the grace of God–how He comes down to us rather than demanding that we climb the impossible ladder to infinity to reach Him—it was tremendously freeing.
To celebrate God’s undeserved favours in my life, I took on a middle name: Grace. Every time I write it, it’s a reminder to me and a witness to the world: I am saved by grace and I live the Christian life by grace.
Father, thank you for your grace that accepts me totally.