For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIVUK)
The term ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) has been around since the early 20th century in the area of home improvements. It’s the idea that anyone can complete a variety of jobs rather than relying on paid specialists. It speaks to the proverb, ‘If you want a job done well, do it yourself.’
The problem for me is that I am useless at DIY. I can put a shelf up, as long as you don’t put anything on it. I can hang a picture, as long as you don’t mind it being wonky. And is it only me that finds that flat pack furniture is always a few screws short and the doors don’t fit symmetrically? All very frustrating.
That got me thinking about salvation. What if my salvation depended on me? What if salvation was a DIY job? Well, quite simply, I wouldn’t be saved; no one would be saved; no one would be good enough by their own efforts. Our attempts to save ourselves would be frustrating and ultimately a waste of our time and effort.
Paul tells us that, ‘…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23), so what hope is there if we can’t save ourselves? Paul goes on to tell us, ‘…all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.’ (v.24). The same ‘all’ that have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory are justified by the grace that has come to us through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. It is God’s gift to us.
I’m so glad that salvation isn’t of my works because if it was anything like my DIY attempts it would be a disaster. I’m so glad that Jesus was sacrificed ‘once for all’ (Hebrews 7:27), and that his sacrifice is fully sufficient without the need for me to add to it.
If you are striving to earn God’s love, striving to try and save yourself, then listen to Jesus’s words,
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message).
Let Jesus do it for you.
Loving Father, help us to rest in Christ, and allow him to bring us salvation through his sacrifice, for your glory. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Study by Barry Robinson
About the writer:
Barry Robinson is a minister in Grace Communion International and Regional Pastor for Southern England, the Midlands, and Wales
Grace Communion West Hampstead
Sidings Community Centre
150 Brassey Road
Sunday 12.30 pm
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