by Philip Layton
Saved by grace, not by works
How are we saved (v 8)?
Do rituals, ceremonies, good deeds, church attendance and loyalty to corps sections save us (v 9)?
As Christians with the promise of eternal life through faith in Christ, can we sit back and not worry about our behaviour (v 10)?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Many speak today of a midlife crisis. Bookshops are filled with self-help books on how to get over the ‘struggles’ of life. Some men and women in their forties and fifties claim a crisis occurs when they hit such an age.
They question what they’ve accomplished in life; whether or not they’re good enough. They wonder if they will succeed or be replaced. Home life presents certain pressures. Teenagers audaciously express themselves in ways that are difficult to handle. Ageing parents demand time. The marriage? Some partners start to look elsewhere for excitement – which is so dangerous.
Perhaps this is the very time when goals need to be redefined, priorities readdressed. Time for a clear understanding of who we are and whose we are. To bring God into focus, asking Christ to help us rediscover ourselves, in him. Rather than a midlife crisis, which can make us vulnerable to things that aren’t of God, a midlife awakening is needed! Loving God in a new and wonderful way; accepting, daily, God’s beautiful grace in ways we never thought possible.
We need to reach outward, inward and upward – for any perceived crisis can be transformed into an exciting celebration. We have been saved by grace; and grace is given to us as an ongoing gift from God – bringing a newness and freshness to life:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (v 8).
Grace! Grace that gets us through a midlife crisis or any kind of crisis that we might face. Grace that washes all our sin away. Grace that lifts our soul to new heights, day after day. O the depth of intrinsic joy found in Christ – all because of his beautiful grace!
Beverly IvanyTags: Ephesians