Meditation for Monday

Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:9

A young man carrying a broom walked up to a car dealership and began sweeping the dust from the doorstep. When he had finished his brief task, he set the broom down, walked into the building, and approached the sales manager. ‘I just cleaned your front step,’ he told the manager, ‘now you can give me a new car’. Politely, the sales manager told the misguided lad that cars are not purchased with chores and labour, but with money. We need to keep reminding ourselves that our salvation is not purchased with works of our own, and we are offering God an insult when we offer Him our paltry efforts for His great Gift.

If our salvation were by works, how would we ever know how much works is enough? That is the problem with religion; people may believe, or may be taught, that their religious exercises have merit with God, but they never know for sure if they have collected enough merit. They also don’t know how much of their merit has been cancelled because of their misbehaviour. That’s why religious people are always so diligent and so worried. On the other hand, Christians can relax and rejoice in the knowledge that the only One Who could ever work for salvation has completed that work for us. That doesn’t mean that Christians don’t do good works. In fact, the Christian should be marked by more good works than the unbeliever, even the ultra-religious. But our works are from our salvation, not for our salvation.

As a very young Christian, I used to think that baptism would make my salvation more secure. I changed my mind about that, although I still regard baptism as very important. In fact, any person claiming to be a Christian who doesn’t want to be baptized causes me to wonder if that person is truly saved. Baptism is a work, something that we do. Although not required for salvation, it is required for obedience to the One Who we claim as our Lord. There are other works that our Lord expects, not to earn salvation or to preserve salvation, but to display our salvation. There are some Christians who perform great works of service for their Lord, and they don’t brag about them, because they know that the real work was done by the Lord Himself. There are some Christians who perform little works of service for their Lord, and they brag about them, because they don’t appreciate the difference between what their Lord has done and what they are able to do.

A humble Christian is a good testimony for the grace of God. A boastful Christian is a poor testimony to the grace of God. -Jim MacIntosh

Comments are closed.