“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” (Ephesians 2:8 NLT)
How many times must we be told that it is not because we are so good that we are saved, but because He is so good?
Our works–do not get His attention in order to save us–we are saved, because of His unmerited, unearned favor–when we believe that He is and forever will be–the Savior of the World.
However, His grace–as Paul explains in his letter to the church in Rome–is not a pass to willfully sin.
Our works--should be a demonstration of our faith in Him–looking after those who are incapable of taking care of themselves, interceding on behalf of others, supporting the Kingdom work at all times, encouraging others to receive the good news of Gospel of Jesus Christ, and repenting from sin.This is the work that demonstrates our faith. We are not saved by our works, but by the grace given to us by Him who sends out to carry the message of the Good News.
God’s grace–His unmerited favor which we cannot earn–is sufficient to keep us from harm and keep us on the right path, doing all things to His glory. Without His grace, the world would be lost because we would only receive that which we deserve, but because He loves us–we are given chance after chance to get it right.
Even though our God is so forgiving and merciful, at some point in time, He will take His hands off our lives when we choose to ignore Him.
Whew! He allowed those who refused to obey Him to be held captive by their enemies in times past and we are seeing a repeat performance of history right now. When we allow the enemy of God–Satan–to influence what we do–we are being held captive by him. Captivity–is not always a physical bondage or inability to move at-will; the enemy captures our minds and keeps our focus off of Him who gives life and plans for us to live in abundance. When our minds are held captive to the negative forces in life and in opposition to what God has said, we become slaves to our flesh–captivated by what we think we know when we think we know more than God.
Our lives and how we live it and what we receive from it are a choice–we choose to accept His grace or we choose not to accept His grace. Whatever our decision is--we cannot take credit for the things His grace accomplishes in our lives.