One may preach a covenant of grace more clearly than another... But when they preach a covenant of works for salvation, that is not truth. – Anne Hutchinson
For some reason, our brains seem to have a default setting that says salvation comes by doing "good" things and that pleasing God is based on performance. Paul blows that out of the water in Ephesians 2:8-9:
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.
The words, "have been saved," communicate an event in the past that has lasting effects into the future. So what now? After we are saved by grace, do we need to perform to keep our salvation and our relationship with God intact? Not according to the Bible.
Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? – Galatians 3:3
The Galatians originally understood salvation was by grace through faith, but then they started adding various works to stay saved and to keep their salvation going – like many of us, they tended to slip back to the default setting of performance-based acceptance.
If we think we have to do good works to retain our salvation, we too will fall into the trap of law-based legalism. We'll lose our freedom to follow Christ with relationship-based passion.
Protect your mind with this simple truth: Good works don't initiate salvation. Similarly, salvation isn't sustained by good works.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is our deepest reality. Because He is love, our relationship with Him isn't about rules or works. It's about a radical freedom to live, love, and be loved. Through Jesus, we have that freedom.
Father, thank You for Your grace, Your love, and the freedom You have given me to be myself! I am so grateful that I don't have to worry about performing well to earn or keep Your favor. I rest in You now! Empower me to love others so that they may see Your light shine through me. Amen.
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