It is easy to take salvation for granted because it is so free. After all, God’s generosity does not need to be earned (Ephesians 2:8) and He loves us so much that He lavishes His grace upon us (Ephesians 1:7, 18; 2:7; 3:8; 3:16). This can make us live like spoiled kids.
After a young man killed six people in a car accident and a judge basically set him free, it became clear how much the parents did to give him a lot of their wealth and a lot of freedom. Based on the reports on television this young man was allowed to exploit his parent’s wealth to the abuse of his own life and now the life of others. He did not have to earn any of these riches, and he did not have to do any work to keep it. He experienced this wealth because he is the child of wealthy parents. He seems to be a spoiled kid.
It is for this reason Paul writes, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!…..” (Romans 6:1-2). The purpose of God’s grace is to provide us an opportunity to have a genuine relationship with God (Ephesians 2:8-10), since sin still lives in the flesh (Romans 7:14-24). Grace blesses us to freely seek God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:8-9) especially since He seeks for us to live holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:13-16; Titus 2:11). No different than a parent who knows their child is going to make mistakes but is pleased to work with the child to help the child reach their potential. So, it is with our heavenly Father. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10; NIV)
Peter received God’s grace and it perfected Him. Thomas received God’s grace and it blessed him (John 20:26-29). Paul received God’s grace and it empowered him even when he was weak (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
God’s blessings of grace bring responsibility not irresponsibility. It removes guilt and must therefore be honored. It removes a feeling of unworthiness and therefore stimulates a better relationship with God. It removes the burden of feeling we need to do everything right and allows us to live dependent on the Holy Spirit who then transforms us, empowers us to work out our salvation in reverence and honor (Philippians 2:12-13). Instead of becoming a spoiled Christian, His grace must lead us to surrender our lives in appreciation of His love so that we bring God glory (Ephesians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:17).
“Grace be with you all.” (Hebrews 13:25).
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