“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age…” (Gal 1:3-4).
Jesus came to rescue us from the present evil age, and He gives everyone who believes in Him eternal life—the life of the age to come (John 3:16). He does that without your help.
What do you contribute to the finished work of Christ on the cross?
There are no works to do, laws to keep, or commands to obey. You believe in Jesus, and He gives you salvation as a gift (Eph 2:8-9).
Some people receive that as the best news they’ve ever heard, but others reject it. Why?
Some people find the grace gospel to be insulting. They think they’re already worthy to be saved, and the idea that they can’t contribute to their salvation insults their abilities and efforts.
Other people find it offensive. They hate the idea that Jesus saves unworthy people like murderers, adulterers, and abusers by faith apart from works, the same way as “good” people like themselves. That offends their sense of justice and self-worth. There’s no way evil people should get off so easily.
So, the grace message is insulting and offensive.
But did you catch the underlying reason why?
Isn’t it ultimately because people think that salvation should be partly earned by good behavior, and it’s insulting to be told that their good or bad behavior doesn’t matter, but only faith in Jesus?
In other words, grace attacks our sense of pride and achievement. It reveals what we are—not basically good people who need a little help, but sinners who need a Savior. It forces us to be humble before the Lord, to recognize the finished nature of His work in dying on the cross and rising again from the dead, and to rely upon Him alone to do what He promised without any help from us.
Instead of being insulted or offended, will you be grateful and believe?
Send your questions or comments to Shawn.