Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Frustrating Grace"

"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Galatians 2:21

Are you frustrating the grace of God by reducing your Christian life to religious practices instead of loving relationship? We usually think about grace and works in regard to receiving salvation. There are those who try to obtain the salvation of God through doing good deeds and religious acts- thinking that what they do will be good enough to save them. The rich young ruler tried to receive eternal life through good works. Some today try to receive eternal life through membership in a denomination, baptism, church participation. It can't be done. We can never do enough good works to earn our salvation. This is why it is a free gift given by grace- God's unmerited favor bestowed on us.

What I am talking about this morning is not in regard to getting saved, but after we receive salvation through faith in Christ. In the verse above Paul was referring to not frustrating the grace of God after he was saved. He was writing this to all born again believers. So what does he mean and what is he saying to us?

I don't have enough time to explain the whole matter, but there is one area that I want to touch on. If your walk with the Lord is more about a list of "dos and don'ts", if it's more about "doing" than "being", if it is more about "duty" than "desire" than you are frustrating (making it nothing- treating it lightly) the grace of God. Jesus died to bring us back into right relationship with God. Yes, good works should be accompanying our lives, but it's a relationship that He is after. Yes, we should be doing good works, but not in order to "keep our salvation" or "stay right" with God or be "good enough". If grace saved you, then grace will keep you- not your works.

The "works" of Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, tithes and offerings, visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, and so on are not done to make sure that I am "right" with Him or "acceptable". They are part of making my relationship stronger. They help me know Him better. And when what I learn about Him is practiced in my life, it helps others know Him better too.

I am getting too lengthy so let me sum this all up. Your works didn't save you to begin with and they don't keep you saved afterwards. They are an evidence and overflow of a relationship that you have with Him. So don't frustrate grace and enjoy the wonderful relationship that you are allowed to have with the Heavenly Father because of the grace of God that came through the cross of Jesus.

Have a great day. Don't reduce your Christian life to religious practices instead of a loving relationship.

For further reading:
Luke 18:18-24
Ephesians 2:6-10
Galatians 3:1-3
James 2:17-26

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