Welcome back to Day 2 in our “I believe” blog series this Holy Week. I’m so glad you’re taking this journey with me. Christians around the world are preparing themselves this week to celebrate what is the most pivitol event in human history: the very first Resurrection Sunday. As Christians, it is so important to know what we believe, and even more so, to know why we believe what we believe. What I’ve come to learn about myself and Christians in general is that there are many beliefs we hold to simply because it’s what we’ve always been taught. Someone once told us to think or believe a certain way, so we do. It’s all that we have ever known, and we’ve never tested it.
I learned a very important lesson in college that served to reshape and strengthen my faith, and it was this very thing: Know why you believe what you believe. This is, in large part, the very reason I’m doing this “I believe” blog series, because I think you and I need to get back to biblical roots. Our truth needs to be recalibrated by God’s Word. So, here we go.
Yesterday, the belief that we focused on was this: “I believe that Jesus is God.” We absolutely needed to start there because that is the firm foundation upon which we build everything else. If Jesus isn’t God, then nothing else matters. But if He is, then it changes everything.
Today, I want us to look at a belief that I think most would agree with in theory, however, in practice, we fail to show that we actually believe it to be true. I have had more conversations than I could count with “believers” about this truth that I’m about to share with you. We want to believe that it’s true, but our actions and ultimately the way we live our lives would suggest something quite different. Here it is:
I believe that grace is free.
Hear what I am NOT saying, first. I am not saying that grace is cheap. Quite the opposite, actually. Grace came at a very high cost to One, but it is offered to you and I for free. It required absolutely everything from One, but there is nothing we could ever do to earn or deserve it.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
I absolutely love the wording here in Ephesians 2. You and I have been saved by grace, not by our own good works. You and I have been saved through faith, not through sheer determination. Notice the next phrase, just in case you could have missed it: “and this is not from yourselves.” Our right standing with God has nothing to do with what we can do, but rather everything to do with what He has already done. Grace is free because it is a gift, and it is a free gift so that not a single one of us could ever boast in our own good works to receive it.
Still, man and manmade religion has done a fine job of selling what God always intended to be free. Every false religion I can think of requires works in order to attain their version of godliness or worthiness. Not Christianity. By grace, through faith. That’s it.
I believe that grace is free. So, let’s stop trying to sell it, to earn it, to deserve it, and to withhold it. Let us simply receive it and freely give it.