For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)
Can you imagine living under Old Testament law? Eat this, not that. Wear this, not that. Oh yeah – and uphold the Ten Commandments and all the implications attached thereto. I can handle the part about not killing people, but I start to sweat when I read Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:21-22 where He explains that anger against a brother is as good as murder.
When I first understood that the Law was meant to showcase the sinful bankruptcy of the human soul, I was confused. And I was also relieved. If we are supposed to live up to a perfect standard to please God, well, I reckon I’m out. You are too (and if you claim otherwise you’re also a liar, so add that to your tab). We are failures at righteousness.
Pastor Scott likes to say that we are not only undeserving of the grace of Christ, we are ill-deserving. Don’t miss this distinction. Undeserving is giving a beggar a dollar, while ill-deserving is giving a murderer a spot on your couch. The murderer not only doesn’t deserve to crash on your couch, he absolutely should not be under your roof under any circumstances.
Remember that stuff Jesus said about being angry makes us murderers? See where I’m going here?
The grace of Jesus is scandalous. It is generous beyond comprehension. I don’t mean to harp on the blackness of your soul, but if you don’t understand that first you won’t see the light of the cross. If we think we’re just undeserving our disposition is “oh, thanks man.” If we get that we are ill-deserving, we’ll drop our life at Jesus’ feet.
God’s grace is for you – and it’s for me. It’s for those of us that fall short. Which is all of us.