I had the opportunity on Sunday to preach the most powerful truth God wants every person to know…the truth that “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
God doesn’t save, accept, help, love, bless those who help themselves, but those who recognize they are HELPLESS. Faith in Jesus is how we declare we are helpless, accept God’s gift of grace, please God, are united in Jesus, and experience the blessings of that. Salvation is offered through grace. Grace is free gift for ALL. Grace says, “Come as you are.”
Being united in Jesus is not based on works, but will result in “good works” (Ephesians 2:10). God calls Christ-followers to the good works of living out our unity in Christ through our love for Him and one another. What motivates our "good works" should not be to earn something from God (because we can’t), but GRATEFULNESS for God’s grace that we have undeservingly received.
My prayer for our church is that we grasp the magnitude of God’s grace; that we become Grace-Driven people who gratefully respond, instead of Works-Driven people who try to earn something from God. Take a long, hard look at your life and consider whether you are living works-driven or grace-driven. Here are some distinctions that separate the two…
- Try to impress God through their works
- Measure their achievements for God
- Stressed out
- Know they sin, so try to work harder to earn forgiveness
- Try to reimburse God
- "I owe God & am going to work off my debt"
- "I can’t work enough"
- Focused on list of requirements
- Always feels guilty
- Trying to earn something from God through work
- Feel like have to work for God to get something
- Blame God
- Favorite phrase is, “Why God?”
- Expect perfection from others and expect them to live up to their standards
- Live with shame and guilt
- Trust that God loves them
- Know God
- Know they sin, but know they’re loved and forgiven and so they repent
- Seek after God
- "I am grateful and want to love him more"
- "I can’t thank Him enough"
- Focused on God’s glory
- Realizes they were guilty and now forgiven
- Simply praise God through their work, and trust He gives what is best
- Do good works joyfully because of what they’ve received...way more than deserved
- Trust God
- Favorite phrase is, “Thank you God!”
- Give grace to others because of what they have been given
- Live with gratitude and experience LIFE from God
Have you received God’s saving grace through faith in Jesus?
If not, why not choose to receive today and experience God’s amazing grace? I pray that you “come as you are” and experience His amazing grace. If you are a follower of Christ and have received His grace, are you living a grace-driven or works-driven life?
“What only God can give is never earned, only received.”