Have you ever had an ah ha moment? This is what happened to me last night after listening to a sermon on Galatians 6. We live in a day when every religion out there tells us that we have to do “something” to get to God. Most religions see god as this far unreachable being and in order to get to him, they must “work” their way to him by doing various things. Even in our Christian churches today, this same philosophy has filtered into the church from the world. For like the Galatians, we have somehow started with grace and yet try to continue or keep our relationship based on works. The Galatian church said one must be saved and circumcised. Today, we say one must be saved and then they must go to church, be baptized, be a good person, read their Bible etc. Believing that we can somehow get closer to God or be more righteous based on our good deeds. That if we pray more, fast more, read our Bible’s more we will be more right with God.
For so long this has been me. Trying to keep my salvation in a sence based on my works. Thinking that to be right with God, I must do certain things. I’m sure if we are honest here, many of us fall into this same boat.
But here is the glorious picture. No amount of good works will make us more righteous than we already are. It is Christ in us, that makes us righteous. It is Christ in us that justifies us. It is Christ in us that declares us holy. It is all Christ and it is all because of the cross! His price payed on our behalf, His blood that covers our sins. His work and nothing of our own. This is GRACE!
Now, before you start thinking well, if it is Christ alone, and not my good works, then I can live as I please. Think again. This is what Paul preached against in Romans 6. Saying, “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer( 1-2)? Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace (12-14).”
What we must grasp like never before is that we do not obey God and do all the right things such as going to church, pray, fast or read the Bible to earn favor with God. We obey God and do all of these things because we already have favor with God!
We do not become more righteous, we are righteous in Christ. We do not become more holy, we are holy because of Christ. We are not justified by our good works, we are justified because of Christ work. Yet, when we come to fully grasp and understand this amazing grace that Christ has bestowed upon us and the work He has accomplished for us at the cross, then our hearts will overflow with love and adoration for our Savior and our desire will be to live our lives for Him. To do the right things, to obey His Word. We won’t be forced to go to church or read our Bibles, we will long for such things.
Paul got this and never got over it. He was consumed with a desire to please the Lord. To live for the Lord, for His life to count for the glory of God because He knew and understood this grace upon his life. He who was once a vile sinner and then one day while traveling on the Damascus road, suddenly became righteous in the eyes of God. Not based on anything He had done, but based on Christ accomplishment.
You and I might not think ourselves as such a sinner as Paul. I mean we have never murdered other Christians, right. Yet, in the eyes of God our sin is just as vile and it is only because of Jesus we are made right with God. That we are forgiven.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).” Our hope is based on Christ and the amazing reality that He is alive in us declaring us forgiven and holy in the eyes of God. Let us NEVER get over this free gift of salvation that is by grace through faith because of Christ. Let us live our lives in complete abandon to Him not to earn favor with Him but because we have favor with Him.