It’s what you believe a believer is when you’re not a believer, everyone believes something. I can remember exactly how I thought and what I believed a Christian was. Let’s see…it was definitely, totally based on what ‘they’ did or didn’t do. You know, like not smoking, not drinking, not dancing, not saying those bad words, above all never, ever listening to rock and roll music, praying before a meal, going to church on Sunday and being looked down on because I didn’t ‘do’ the same things that they did or did those things that they ‘didn’t’ do. Wow, how to keep up with all the do’s and don’ts. That is truly what I thought and I know so many, even now, who think exactly the same way.
It’s a lie of course, and we know who the father of lies is, don’t we? Just the other day I had an opportunity to express this very thing to some family members, just as I was able to tell my mom the same before she died. It’s such a subtle, pious lie. It sounds so good, so holy, so right “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12), but it isn’t right, it’s a lie!
The scriptures tell us that we have no righteousness of our own, we have nothing to offer to God that is acceptable to Him, nothing. So if in any way you rely upon your ‘works’ to be justified before God, you are believing and relying upon a false Gospel as the Galatians were doing. Paul told the Galatians “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal 2:21).
You see, Christianity is not about our behavior, it’s about Christ! It’s about life and death, light and darkness, sin and forgiveness, it’s about the Truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it’s not about what I do, it’s about what He has done. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phi 2:8)
“For by Grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:8-10). Christianity is all about the grace of God in Christ Jesus. We, as Christians, believe in the Gospel and we rejoice in it by the gift of faith given by the Holy Spirit. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17), the Word, obedience, the blessings, the communion we have with Him and with one another are all gifts of Grace.
I wonder about the believers at Ephesus who were told by the Lord in Revelation that they had left their first love, namely Christ. I wonder if they had neglected to remember grace.
“And of His fullness we have all received and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1 16-17).