Our daughter once told us of a friend who felt that God was punishing her for disobeying him many years ago, and my dad and I both said, at the same time, God doesn’t work that way.
I’m grateful that three generations of my family understand the grace of God, for apparently not every Christian does.
The pastor at my church is preaching salvation by faith, not works, every week lately. I wonder how many of the congregation feel they’re not good enough, that they must do or stop doing something before they can be counted righteous by God.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is that we are saved by the grace of God through faith alone. Period.
It is not intuitive. I was taught at a young age that when I did something wrong I would experience negative consequences, and when I did something right I would, eventually, see positive results. Most of us were raised according to that philosophy, so it’s no surprise that free salvation is difficult to accept. That’s also what makes it such an indescribable gift.
No other world religion depends on such otherworldly grace. They either teach that we must meet certain requirements or, on the contrary, that we are ignorant of our divinity, have no sin to confess, and must recover a higher consciousness. There are many varieties of both of these, and everything in between.
Christianity is the only religion that admits our sinfulness, the futility of doing anything about it, and recognizes that Jesus is the only one who can save us. If we believe that we have done anything ourselves to deserve salvation, then we are saying that we don’t need Jesus.
That brings up an interesting theological question: Why did Jesus die for us if we don’t need him? The God of the universe wouldn’t send his Son to die for a sinful world if it was optional.
If you are a Christian who feels that you are not good enough, that you messed up too badly, or that for some other reason you will not experience the grace of God, please think again. God’s grace is the only hope any of us have. No one is too far gone to receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Jesus is not optional. There is no middle ground: we either need Jesus Christ or we don’t. And we need him desperately. Christians believe that Jesus took the penalty for their sins on the cross and, in exchange, will allow them to stand before God covered in the qualifications of his perfect life. We add nothing, and we live in humble gratitude.
If you have faith in God’s beautiful grace, then live in that truth. Don’t doubt it. Revel in it. Share it.
Why do you think the grace of God is so difficult to understand and/or accept?