God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. -Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)
I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t reflect on God’s incredible grace that I so desperately depend on. One of the issues we sometimes lose sight of in churches is exactly that: our absolute dependence on grace and not “religion” to save us. Sometimes we need that grace to cover sins we have committed after salvation — never mind what we did before we came to saving knowledge of Christ.
Some think that we can lose our salvation because of sin. I do not. I believe the blood of Jesus is sufficient to take care of our sin once and for all when we accept Him and make Him Lord of our lives. However, I mean really coming to faith and working on a relationship — not some emotional experience we may have had at one time in a church or crusade that ended when the event was over. The kind of relationship I am talking about invokes a conscience to remind us when we sin. When the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, our sin gets exposed. He does not come to condemn us, but to point it out and correct us so we can better walk in harmony with God.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)
So often we put our own spin on something that Jesus or perhaps one of His disciples stated in scripture and build a personal, judgmental theological system around it. It is sad when that happens because it often demeans the work of Christ on the Cross and most certainly ends up excluding people for some less-than-critical doctrine or perhaps some past sin which that particular theological system considers worse than another.
So, as I ponder the meaning of grace and its deep value, I cannot help but wonder how much pain and suffering would be excluded if we simply embraced grace and its Giver in love and appreciation? Much of it, I suspect.
Sin must not have power over you. You are not living by the Law. You have life because of God’s loving-favor. -Romans 6:14 (New Life Version NLV)