Not of Ourselves

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Religion will attempt to explain grace to us by means of head knowledge.  Then, ironically, it will direct us in ways to “gain” God’s grace.  Sadly, we then begin to perform these doctrines and expect more blessings.  Often these doctrines are very Scriptural in nature but done with the wrong motivation.  We begin to feel “holier” or more “righteous” because we have successfully completed the said religious doctrine.  It is kind of like graduating from Christianity 101.  Our religious works are quite esteemed among the fellow religious.  Without fail, these religious doctrines performed with the wrong motivation lead to destruction if we continue on that path…it is the wrong path.

Eventually, the religious walls crumble and we are left barren with water washing away our castle of sand.  We were and are saved through faith, it is a gift of God.  Upon our Salvation we don’t try to “gain” God’s grace, we continue to maintain His grace.  It is our obedience to His grace that enables us to keep God’s commandments.  Obedience to God’s grace requires faith, not works, in His plan for Salvation and Sanctification – Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  We don’t gain grace, we maintain grace through faith…faith in Jesus and His finished work on Calvary’s Cross.

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12.

For example, as is obvious, I blog almost every day.  It is not because I try, albeit poorly at times, to exalt the Lord as much as a human can that God blesses me.  The Lord blesses because of Who He is, not because of what we do.  In other words, fighting the fight of faith for me is not allowing myself to ever think that the Lord is using me because I write.  It is quite the opposite, I write because He is using me in that capacity.  We preach, we praise and we exalt the Lord Jesus Christ because of Who He is and what He has done.  Jesus did not go to the Cross because we preach and we praise…we preach and we praise because He went to the Cross.  Do you see the mindset of the religious?  They will not see it in these terms, but their fruit is discerned by their actions and their words.

I hope this is making sense to some of you out there.  I have often said when speaking of temptations of the devil, that he is satan and that is what he does.  We know and recognize pain, emotional pain and physical pain but the grace of God we don’t know until we are born again.  It has been there all of our life, we just couldn’t see it at the time.

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4.

You see, we cannot be partakers of the Divine Nature, God’s Nature, until we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.  It is only through our faith in Jesus and His finished work that we are reconciled to God, saved from death, hell and the grave and given dominion over our sin nature.  We cannot “gain” God’s grace through our works but we can “maintain” God’s grace through our faith in Jesus.  God’s Grace, Mercy and Righteousness is Who He is…that’s what He does.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2.  The Holy Spirit is only commissioned to dethrone our sin nature, who rules and reigns in a sinner’s heart, when faith is placed in Jesus for our Salvation.  Religion will then attempt to redirect our faith to our works, self efforts and self will to “gain” more of God’s grace.  This will in turn frustrate God’s grace because we have turned to a law to “gain” God’s grace.  Our sin nature then regains it’s throne in our heart because our faith is misappropriated in our efforts and not Jesus’ finished work.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”  Galatians 2:20-21.

We are saved by grace through faith.  We are righteous because of our faith in what Jesus did on Calvary’s Cross, not because of our works.  Don’t frustrate God’s grace.  This Gospel we have been given is a gift from God…it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, It is about Him…not us.

-Donna Clark Warren

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