The other day I was thinking of a woman I once knew. Frequently cantankerous, she used the language of a sailor, was obnoxiously loud, often intoxicated, had rascals as children and lived in disarray. As I thought about her, I found myself saying, "Her saving grace was that she did nice things for people." No sooner did I say it, than I realized how unbiblical my statement was. Yet, it's the way we often think. We somehow believe that good acts make up for character rottenness. What is even worse, is the way we say, "Their only saving grace is that they have money...or a good spouse...or good kids..or ______ (just fill in the blank). Balderdash! The only saving grace any of us has is the blood of Jesus. It is the only saving grace there is!
Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he puts us in right standing with himself. A pure gift, he got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by the means of Jesus Christ. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did this all on his own, with no help from us. Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! (Romans 3:21-24 and Ephesians 2:4-8 in The Message)
Her only saving grace, and mine, and yours is God's saving grace! Let's praise him for it!
Bruce Henderson is the minister of the Airport Road Church of Christ, located at 3209 Airport Road. For information, call 882-5046.