“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”
By God’s grace we are delivered (saved) from our sins. By His grace, we are freed from passions and fears that we thought we controlled but in reality controlled us. Things such as outbursts of anger, critical attitudes towards friends, continual internet searches for sensual titillation, unspoken but pervasive fears of failing other’s expectations, uneasiness of being rejected by everyone or anyone and obsessive needs to control spouses, children, investments, grades/GPA, work projects, etc. God rescued us from all of these things because of His immeasurable love and mercy for us. By grace we have been saved.
So, even before we resolved to battle against the sin within us, by His grace, we were already His precious son or daughter. He made us His beloved in Christ even before we had become truly lovely. There is a song I learned at a high school Christian camp that nicely captures this truth. It goes like this: “He loves me just the way I am today. But much too much to let me stay that way. And when He’s changed my heart from what it was before. He still won’t love me one bit more.”
Not only is it by His grace that we are given the blessedness of salvation (deliverance from sin), but it is also only through faith that we can receive that blessed deliverance.
Relationally destructive and shamefully dishonoring patterns of sinful living leaves people feeling dirty, unwanted, unworthy, hopeless and alone. To believe that God, especially a holy and loving God, can see all of our deviance and selfishness and still greatly love us is extremely hard to accept and believe.
Yet, His word is true and so although it’s too difficult to believe, it is only by faith, only by believing in His grace for you through His Son Jesus that you can be delivered. It is only by trusting in Jesus’ enduring and endless love and mercy for you that freedom from sin and forgiveness of sin can flood into your life.
But what will it take for a person to have authentic faith in this good news message? What will it take for your mom, your dad, your husband, wife, brother, sister or friend to finally believe in all that God has done for them through His Son Jesus? Will it take a personal tragedy or crushing moral failure to wake them up? I have no idea what it will take. But what I do know is that it is by His grace, by His great love and mercy for us that you and I were saved; and it will continue to be only by His grace alone that all others will be delivered too.