March 9th

Saved by Grace

I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.  Galatians 2:21 NKJV 

The simplicity of what Jesus did for all humanity is often clouded by religious tradition and other inventions people come up with to try to earn God’s acceptance.  Many, if not all of the world’s religions are built on the idea of earning your salvation.  Christianity is the only one that offers salvation as a free gift from God.   

The devil uses clever lies to condemn Christians who are living as slaves to sin.  He tells them that they are no longer worthy of God’s forgiveness and that they must get their lives “right” before they can approach God.  The problem is that without God, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be able to get anything “right.”  We need his help to just get back on our feet and headed in the right direction again.  God knew this and sent Jesus to pay for our sins. Jesus’ death on the cross brought peace between God and us (Romans 5:1-2).  We can now approach God without fear of his wrath, because Jesus bore that wrath in his body.  

Though we may have sinned horribly, we can still approach God for forgiveness and healing.  We have to remember that it’s not a performance-based relationship concerning salvation; it is a free gift.  Paul said that trying to earn righteousness by being good suggests that Jesus died in vain.  We can’t earn it and if we try to, we’ll be offending God (Galatians 5:4).  Jesus died to free us from the bondage of trying to live perfectly good. 

This freedom does not give us a blank check to sin.  Rather, it brings an obligation for us to live by God’s commands in appreciation for what he did for us.  This proves our love for him.  In the event that we stumble and sin along the way, we have forgiveness for our sin through Jesus.  

Paul instructs us to use freedom not to serve the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-21), but to serve one another through love (Galatians 5:13-15).  When we let God’s love well up within us, we will fulfill all of God’s laws (Galatians 5:14) and partake of the fruits of His Spirit.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, thank you for freeing me from the law of sin and death. Thank you that I don’t have to earn my salvation.  Lord you knew I needed help and sent your Son to do the impossible. Thank you!  Please fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit and impart your life to me in my inner being.  Please strengthen me to resist the temptations that may come my way today.  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”