"For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith, a gift from God, lest any man should boast" (v8-9). This is my favorite sentence in the whole Bible. A simple verse, but a powerful message that I needed to review tonight.
First, it is God's Grace that rescues us every day. Because of this, not one person on this earth has screwed up beyond God's help. All we have to do is ask for forgiveness. "It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ" (v4).
Second, it is through faith. This has very little to do with us. All we do is trust Jesus, and let Him do the saving. We can't earn our way to Heaven - only by following Jesus. And it's not too late for anyone to start.
Third, it is a gift. So we must not take it for granted. "It was only yesterday that you were outsiders to God's ways ... Now because of Christ ... you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything" (v11-13). Jesus offers a new creation, a fresh start for everyone. I like that. I need that.
Jesus tore down the wall between man and God. We're no longer exiles, strangers, or outsiders. Now we belong together.
A Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for this reminder of your Grace. Give me more faith tomorrow than I had today. I doubt you all too often. Let me accept your gift humbly without making it look like I had something to do with it. Finally, help me to understand what Grace really means, so that I can extend it to others.