What should your response be to God's grace?
[Steve Myers] We know that scripture tells us that we are given salvation. Now, of course, it brings up another question, then – as we are given salvation, does that mean it’s a done deal? Does that mean it’s unconditional? Does that mean that it doesn’t matter what our response to God’s grace is, that we’re assured eternal life? That’s an interesting question when you begin to think about it. Is salvation unconditional? I mean, there’s no doubt, when God gives us the gift, we’ve got it. It is unconditional. God wants to develop a relationship with us. He wants to extend grace to us. But the challenge is then, what is our response to grace? Because the apostle Paul does say he doesn’t want to take the grace of God in vain. So it’s important, then, to think about what is our response to grace?
In Romans 5:8 Romans 5:8But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
American King James Version×, it tells us of this remarkable gift. It says that “God demonstrates His love toward us, that while we were sinners, Christ died for us”. So it describes the grace of God, it describes that unconditional gift of salvation.
Now, what we do with that gift has a tremendous impact on what the outcome will really be. Often times, people will turn to the book of John, and probably one of the most familiar passages for people in all of the Bible, in John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version×– it seems like you see it everywhere, at football games in the stadiums, or baseball games, it’s hung up in the placards and people recognize this verse, because that’s the one that says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And of course, that sounds a little bit like Romans 5, where we’re given this gift. Sounds like Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 2:8For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
American King James Version×– you know, that this grace has been extended to us, and we have that unconditional gift.
Now, the interesting part is if you continue to read in John chapter 3, we see there is a response that’s necessary to grace. And we’ll see what Christ Himself said. He goes on and He says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned.” And so we have that unconditional gift. He says, “But he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Okay, well, what does that mean, then, to believe? Is believe just taking Jesus in your heart and acknowledging and recognizing that? Or is there a bigger connection when it comes to belief? Well, here’s what Christ Himself says, verse 20. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” So what Christ is recognizing here is there’s a connection between belief and obedience – how we live our lives. In fact, He goes on in verse 21 and He says this: “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:21 John 3:21But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are worked in God.
American King James Version×). And so Christ Himself says you’ve received this unconditional gift. Now what are we going to do with it? Christ says, our reaction to that grace of God? It better be obedience. It better be obedience because then we’ve taken and we’ve used that gift. And in fact, he spells it out pretty clearly over in the book of Matthew. Matthew chapter 7, and in Matthew, He’s pretty clear in verse 21, because He is not pulling any punches when it comes to what we do after we receive that gift. So in Matthew 7:21 Matthew 7:21Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
American King James Version×, here’s what He says – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” And so yes, we’ve been given this unconditional gift – now, what are we going to do with it? Christ says we should believe, we should obey. Our response to this wonderful gift of grace should be obedience.
That’s BT Daily. We’ll see you next time.