Grace-based life

Saturday Apr 13th, 2013

I've had several recent interactions or things I've read from others that seem to misplace the emphasis in some people's views: that in order to be sure about your relationship with God, you have to be doing the right things and living a certain way. If you don't, you either aren't going to be saved or God is just reall going to hate you even if He does save you.

My problem with this is that even if intentions are good, I think it ends up being a system of spirituality based on our effort or works. But the Bible really emphasizes the grace of God both in starting a relationship with Him and in growing in that relationship. It should be such a huge relief when we realize that we can't make God like us by how "good" we are. Because we can't! We can never measure up. That's like the baby bird chirping with mouth wide open and expecting that its skill at chirping and opening its mouth is what motivates the parent birds to feed it; no, what motivates the parents is "parenting" - not sure if I can call it "love" with birds. Applying that to us, it's not our efforts that got God to take the punishment for our sins on Himself in the person of Jesus; no, what motivated Him was love - love for us, His creation. "For God so loved the world . . ."

In His grace, God loves us even as rotten sinners. A relationship with God is about trusting Him, not working really hard to hopefully get His attention and earn His affirmation. Yes, how we live can please Him or displease Him. But the relationship is based on His gracious love for us ("While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" - Romans 5).

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