“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.”
There was once a little girl who used to disobey her mother. Her mother one day got very angry with her child and scolded her. The little girl knowing she had done something wrong, said ‘I’m sorry mummy, I promise I will never do it again.’ The next day the child did the same thing, then again repeated her words of confession and the promise to not do it again. Sound familiar?
The story of the child’s confession, repentance and promise might sound cute but in actual fact, isn’t that what we find ourselves doing; making promises to live good lives and love God with all our hearts and then failing at every obstacle that comes our way? Yet the ‘trying’ to do good is completely missing the point of what Jesus did for us. Even our best efforts are not enough to be made right with God…!
Paul’s words in today’s verse say that ‘salvation is not reward for your good works’. Salvation is a gift from God. It is a sign of His unconditional and unwavering love for us, His children, His creation. He didn’t wait for us to become good, to deserve His gift, to get our lives on the right track, or to build up an account of good works before He died for us. No, He died for us while we were still sinners. He died when we wereacn’t good and didn’t deserve it. The point of salvation is not in the ‘trying’ or making promises to God you can’t keep, it is in ‘accepting’ that when Jesus died and rose again, He opened an account with our names, and wrote ‘unlimited grace’ next to our names, written in His blood. That is not to say we can live wreck-less lives because God’s grace will cover our sins. It is saying that because of God’s grace, our sins are forgiven and we no longer have to strive to gain God’s favour by the good things we do. Our wrong-doings have been paid, we are un-conditionally loved and free from the pressure of trying to gain God’s favour!