Christians are cocky. I say this as a Christian myself. I am very aware that sometimes I probably come off like a jerk to people who don’t know Christ. I think somehow we get it in our head that we’ve earned our status as sons and daughters of God. Saying crap like “Yeah I go to church and I’m always the first one there, and the pastor knows my first name, and we shake hands every Sunday morning.” Or “Yeah I put like 5 bucks in the offering, how much did you put in?” Or “Did you see me up at the altar praying, I must have been up there atleast like 5 minutes.” Seriously I could go on for days quoting stuff I’ve heard said at church. But it’s because we have this mentality that we earn our salvation, which has to be passed down by traditions, because it says nothing of the sort in the Bible.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” -Ephesians 2:1-5 NIV
That sums it up. If we would just read our Bibles, we would know very clear that we cannot earn our salvation. Paul is saying that we are completely worthless on our own. That there is no point at all in trying to earn heaven. That it is only by grace which we are saved. That’s a really good thing, because if we could earn Salvation, I wouldn’t even want to know what we would have to go through to earn an eternity with God. It just seems like a lot of work, and I am as lazy as they come when I’m doing anything that is not a part of my schedule.
The only thing that we have earned as humans on this earth, is an open road that leads straight to hell. That is what we have to show for on our own. Maybe we didn’t want it, but it is just a part of our nature now. By being born into this world we have earned what the first 3 verses of Ephesians chapter 2 described.
That’s the beauty of grace, because we don’t have to do anything to earn it. What happens is once we experience grace, we cannot live without it. And it makes us appreciate our relationship with God that much more, because it’s not about what we’re trying to earn any more, it’s directly about a relationship and worshiping our Father, and being thankful and grateful to him for showing us grace.
Go out and show grace to the world, show grace to the ones who need it.