“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”

Ephesians‬ ‭2:4-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Many Christians enter into their faith without understanding it. Their conversion to Christ is often acceptance of his power but not his way. Practically this means coming to a mental ascent that he can save them and aligning with him, but not a mental submission to being his disciple or walking behind him. As he pulls them out of hell, they often quickly head back for it because they don’t understand how their attitudes toward life must include this submission. Paul’s teaching on grace is both, the hidden part of the old covenant, and it is a primary reason Jesus walked in human form. Men need something undeniable because the very problem that hinders their growth is seeded in their desire to be in control. Being saved frees them to take control again. We must remember that being saved returns us to a pre-sin state, at best. But Adam and Eve sinned while they were perfect. Their mistake was in believing that they weren’t in need of God. Accepting grace guards against this. It installs a reminder and a fail safe against creating a new type of original sin with our new found freedom. If we have a salvation that feels like we must pay it back, rather than that we desire to never stray again, then perhaps it needs a better understanding of what it means to be in relationship with a god who gives freely and needs nothing. All that he gives us is because he loves us and wants what is best for his creation.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary

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