I often hear said to Christians, “don’t let…” or “you need to allow God to…” or “God can’t…unless you…”
The question that should be asked in light of these statements is, “How do I do that?”
Then we hear, “by grace through faith”.
In the back of our mind, we’re asking, “What???!”
At the end of the day, you’re left with wondering what is it that you’re doing wrong? or How is it that you’re not allowing God to do whatever it may be?
Those questions are very legitimate.
Eventually, you’re left with guilt. The guilt that whatever’s going on, that you must be at fault and thus failing to “allow” God to “do his part”.
Such perspective can be very hurtful to a believer’s mind, blaming himself for not measuring up to God’s expectation.
That perspective is entirely outside of the gospel message.
The problem is that no one has yet taken time to explain to you “grace through faith”. The work of grace. Not your work.
It’s a bit ironic. Initially, you’re told what you have to do. When you ask how, people throws the truth at you with zero explanation.
What others should be telling you and reminding you in such situations is that it is grace through faith in Christ’s finished work that will do the work. And that’s the simple message revealing the rest, the peace, that we have in Christ.
The message of grace is not that somehow you personally are holding God’s power hostage or ineffective. The message of grace rather is that whatever that needs to happen it will not be your work or effort, but the work of grace as faith is revealed to you by God. With such message, now you can now rest and stop blaming yourself for whatever seems to be going wrong.
God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in our heart, mind, body and soul, to empower us to live as God’s children. That’s grace.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14)
“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)
It is the gift of God. The forgiveness of all of our sins, the eternal life, the sonship to God, all are the gift of God. Amen.
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
It is the gift of God.