God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9
Fruitful lives filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control will be our focus over the next number of weeks. Today we are going to look at the first of two preliminary considerations that will be a big help in lining us up properly with the list of "fruits" God has in mind for our lives. Our Ephesians passage deals with the age old problem of "putting the cart before the horse," so to speak. We are by nature ones who strive to achieve. We routinely approach life with the formula of "doing" what it takes to "get the return" we want. Christianity turns this formula on its head.
The "achieving" formula, when applied to God, leads to "doing" good things to "get the return" of being acceptable and right with God. The "grace" formula turns this around. We put our faith in Christ and we are given the gift of being acceptable and right with God (salvation) and then through a personal and intimate connection with him, he produces good things (fruit) in and through our lives. So, we must never approach "fruit" as something we achieve in order to be acceptable and right with God (salvation).
Lord, I confess that I have struggled with feelings of needing to "achieve" in regard to being connected with you, instead of just "receiving." I have put my faith in Christ for salvation but sometimes I slip back into the "achieving" mode. Deliver me from feeling like I must maintain my relationship with you by my "doing" the right things (fruit) in order to deserve being connecting with you. I believe it is all by grace and today I choose to "receive" it all from you and you alone. Amen!
Posted on Tue, October 6, 2015
by Alan Porter