What Else Christians Know

search_and_rescueChristians know that God is and that Jesus reveals God. We also know that we are saved by grace. By implication, we also know that we need to be saved.

Christians know that we are sinners. We understand our spiritual condition is a lot worse than simply admitting that we make mistakes. Our inability to live perfectly indicates that there’s a fundamental difference between us and God: He is holy and we are not.

We also understand that no amount of self help is going to take care of our condition. We can try all we want. We can aim to balance out the bad with the good. The problem is, no matter the split–20/80, 60/40, or 95/5–whatever is on the “not good” side is deadly. No exaggeration. We understand our inability to hit the bulls-eye 100% of the time equates to being infected with a terminal illness. The result–the wages, Scripture calls it–is death just as surely as if I drank poison.

So, yes, Christians realize we need to be saved.

We also know we can’t save ourselves. For one thing, the standard is too high. It involves our thought life and our attitudes and intentions as well as our actions. And if we say we don’t sin, Scripture nails us on that and says we’re lying–which of course also is a sin. So we face the fact that we can’t do enough religious deeds to undo our sin, and we can’t clean up our thoughts, actions, words, attitudes sufficiently to cover the sins we have committed. They are on the account book, marked down as stuff we owe. And the debt can only be satisfied by our lives.

Enter God’s grace.

Since God is holy, He’s the only one qualified to intervene. Because He loves us, He’s chosen to do the work to re-connect us to Himself. In many ways, His extension of grace is the same as what the Search and Rescue teams offer someone swept into a fast-flowing river current heading for disaster. Nothing the person in the water can do on his own to keep from drowning. Unless someone tosses him a lifeline, he will die.

The lifeline spiritually is God’s grace.

The means God used to extend His grace to us, is His Son’s death. Jesus willingly offered His life to pay the debt we owe. His death canceled our debt. He died once for all, “the just for the unjust,” that He might bring us to God.

God’s grace is His free gift. Christians know we aren’t special, haven’t done anything to earn God’s favor, and are no better than anyone else. God’s work in us has changed us. He has declared us righteous and is working in us to mold us into the likeness of Christ. But this process is not something we do by pulling up our socks and trying hard. We become who God has declared us to be by giving God the reins of our lives, letting Him take us where He wants, when He wants, how He wants. It’s a position of surrender.

You’ve seen the video of the Golden Retriever who made friends with the little boy who wanted nothing to do with him? He crawled and rolled to his back and lowered his head. He did everything imaginable to show that he was submitting to that little tike. He didn’t have to, certainly.

We, on the other hand, have no choice if we are to have a relationship with God. He’s made the way of escape. Our role is nothing more than to submit freely to God alone who loves us as His children.

Published in: on October 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm  Comments (3)  
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