I just completed a Bible study on Ephesians entitled, “By His Wounds You Are Healed,” written by Wendy Alsup. I plan to skim through the study and share some of the nuggets of truth I am learning. Today I am sharing this quote from the last lesson,
“If grace does not dominate your understanding of your relationship to God and your obligations to others, your religion will suck the life out of you and others around you.”
Grace and obligation, grace and humility, grace and reconciliation, grace and forgiveness….
The Christian life begins by an act of grace. You were dead in your trespasses and sins but God made you alive in Christ Jesus. That is the way our Christian lives began. Yet, with seeming inevitability, grace is shelved and self-effort creeps in. We quickly focus on our work and progress. Soon our gaze turns to others’ work and progress. Comparisons and judgments are begun. Condemnation of self or others, pride and arrogance all quickly follow. We were dead in our trespasses and sin and now we are dying in our trespasses and sin again.
How does this happen?
We forget! “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us…raised us up with Him. ” “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God.”
We start out in the gospel of grace but we quickly drift. I think we need to learn some navigational skills to find our way back home WHEN we drift. Because we all drift.