Read His Words Before Ours!
I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel. –Paul, the Apostle
Dumbfounded, to be honest.
How can you be so foolish to, on one hand, believe that Christ saved you by His Spirit, without any help from you, then turn to the other hand and live like your spiritual growth depends on your own ability? (Galatians 3:3, paraphrased)
“You foolish Galatians!”, Paul emphatically states.
My friends, there is No Other Gospel by which we can receive salvation.
Sola, meaning only.
Only one Scripture holding truth.
Only one way to Jesus through faith.
Only one way to receive Christ by grace.
Only one who can save us for eternity, Jesus.
Only one end goal, to bring glory to God.
Paul reiterates with emphasis,
“not that there is another gospel,
but there are some who are troubling you
and want to distort the gospel of Christ.”
We nod our heads in agreement when we hear the statements of faith.
Of course, we believe this to be true:
Saved by grace through faith alone, yes! Of course!
But we still must do…..
and out flow our lists and endless checkboxes of ways to please God and earn His favor.
As if the gospel needs our help.
As if the Savior’s work is not good enough.
God saved us for all eternity yes, but I must still do these things to ensure His love stays on me.
God saved us for all eternity through faith yes, but GOD by His grace and His righteousness will continue to hold us fast, teaching our hearts to become more like Him.
Scripture insists, and Sola Gratia emphatically demands, that we change our yes, but to yes, I am not enough and will never be enough, but God is always my enough because of lavish grace.
Saved by grace through faith not of ourselves; it is the gift of God.
Whatever we attempt to bring to the table of Christ
will never be good enough and
will always cheapen the sacrifice of Christ,
so, radically, God invites us to bring our nothing.
No good deeds.
No Scripture memory.
No “pretty good” past.
No large sums of money given to charity.
All of it is a slap in the face of the One who gave all
precisely because we are incapable of bringing anything.
Against the stark, unending dark backdrop of our utter incapability to earn the favor and pleasing smile of God upon us, He extends His merciful kindness and invites us to “bring our nothing”.
Come, and buy, and drink, and eat, and have inheritance, without price or entrance fee. (Isaiah 55:1-3)
Cease your labors. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Come to Jesus through the doorway of faith, opened for you by grace alone. (Romans 3:23-24)
Jared C. Wilson, in his portion of the book, Sola: How The 5 Solas are still Reforming the Church writes, “The problem with legalism is that it is itself, altogether stupid. Legalism imagines that the solution to our problem (inadequate righteousness before God) is to bring more of our problem (inadequate righteousness).”
Read that again, slower.
How refreshing is the antidote to our ceaseless inadequacy, Sola Gratia!
Bring your nothing, and allow faith, because of grace, to awaken your soul to life where good works flow rightly from the Spirit at work within us.
Because of this richly free, inestimably extravagant, grace alone,
we can have peace with God.
When we trade our sin-sick efforts to earn God’s favor or become a better version of ourselves on our own.
When we surrender our total inability to become righteous to the God of all righteousness.
When we lay down our insistence that we can do where God says, “I have done”.
Here is the rich fabric of grace.
Here we drink the wine of peace with God.
Here, with tears in our eyes, and the Spirit fueling our hearts, we declare alongside Paul with hearts overflowing with gratitude,
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, according to the will of our God and Father.
To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Galatians 1:5)
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!