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 (ESV)
In today’s culture, much like the time when Ephesians was written, there is a fundamental misunderstanding of God’s grace towards mankind, especially, as it relates to salvation. In America, for example, there is a prevalent attitude that doing more gets you more. Or that doing good will bring more good things into your life and that doing bad will bring more bad things into your life. This attitude is what some call karma or thought that “what goes around comes around.” Many believe that if they have good things in life it is because they have earned God’s favor and blessings. This thinking is incorrect and I will offer some thoughts on grace vs. karma.
In a sense, we see this at Christmas time when children are told they better be good if they want to get presents. In other words, if we are good and nice as we live our lives, this will come back to us resulting in better, more enjoyable, fulfilled lives. These positions carry over into religious beliefs about the afterlife, especially, in terms of what Christians call salvation. Normally, these are non-Christians who hold these beliefs, yet sometimes Christians fall for these beliefs. Such beliefs run contrary to the Christian position of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Therefore, it is important to understand and always keep in focus the grace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We Christians need to be reminded of this so we can continue to trust Jesus with our lives. Understanding grace is also important so we can share Jesus accurately with non-Christians.
Tomorrow, I will address the following two key issues to will help us understand God’s grace in salvation.
- You can never be good enough to earn salvation since it is of God’s grace.
- You can never be bad enough to be ineligible for salvation since it is of God’s grace.
Grace and peace,
p.s. Here is the follow-up post Never Good Enough or Never Bad Enough.