One of the big things people miss about grace is its connection with good works. God made us for good works, but because each of us wants to be our own little gods in our own little cocoons we have a big problem doing those good works. It’s actually worse than that. Because we all inherited this tendency toward rebellion against God, we usually end up doing exactly the things that God doesn’t want. In other words, like Satan we tend to kill, steal, and destroy rather than help God provide life to His Creation (John 10:10; Luke 11:23).
And that’s why God has this dilemma: does He let us survive and continue destroying His Creation, or destroy us and start all over? What is an All-Powerful Deity to do? Either way His Creation gets irreparably harmed because we are the greatest part of His Creation (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:1-9).
This is where grace comes in. With grace God found a way both to keep us from destroying His Creation and to save us from destruction. As Ephesians 2:8-10 says, all we need is to have faith and we’ll be saved from destruction. It’s all God’s doing. If we did it on our own we could brag that we saved ourselves, and then we’d be right back in that same old place of being our own little gods.
But wait! Didn’t I just use another one of those Bible words no one really understands? Yes, I did. The word is faith. It means trust, or belief. It’s the only way we get anywhere with God. As the Bible explains, all the way from Adam through Noah and beyond, people kept trying to live up to their own standards of right and wrong, but always failed to meet God’s standards. It’s not until we get to Abraham that we find someone who cracked the code:
And he [Abraham] believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3)
So that’s it? Just believe (have faith or trust in) God and He will consider us righteous? And what is righteous? Another big Bible word? Yes; righteous means “right standing with God” – that we meet His standards and He accepts us. And yes, it’s that simple. He does all the hard work, and all we do is trust Him to do it, and then do as He says.
But what exactly is this work God does for us? And why is trusting Him so hard?
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