Mark Affleck


October 3, 2016
Spiritual Growth

That’s right, the door to God’s grace—his unmerited love to us—is UNLOCKED.
I spent many years fiddling with different keys to open that door, but never even checked the knob to see if it would open! It reminds me of a great story from famous magician Harry Houdini’s life that makes the point perfectly. In one famous stunt gone awry, Houdini panicked when he couldn’t open the last lock on the door that was blocking his escape. After many agonizing minutes he gave up his aggressive attempts to force the lock open and let his body go limp. Totally spent, he collapsed against the door and, to his surprise, fell through to the other side as the door swung open. The door was unlocked the entire time; he just didn’t know it.
Our lives are just like that. God says:
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.”  Proverbs 8:17
Grace is receiving a gift we don’t deserve. But it is infinitely more than that. Grace is God’s love for us, given to us out of his love, even though we deserve the opposite. Grace is God rescuing us because we can’t rescue ourselves. Grace is God sending his Son to die for our sins and the sins of the world so we could live.
We can’t earn God’s grace…
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Divine grace saved us from punishment when we came to faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. The Bible assures us that…“it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
We are not being saved; with belief in Christ we are saved by his grace. We keep trying to become something we already are and slip through a door that isn’t even there. Why is this so hard to see? And why do so many of us miss it by falling into the trap of thinking: “I will be a good person and that will cancel out my past. Then I will be a mature Christian.”
That’s crazy!
Living life in this dangerous mode forces us to mount an aggressive campaign to convince God and those around us we are good and worthy of his special love. We may have accepted that we can’t measure up on our own without God’s mercy and grace, but we still think we can accomplish something on our own to receive God’s joy.
The truth is, of course, we have accomplished nothing. God throws a huge sign in the road telling us that no work can be done to merit God’s favor and that we can’t earn a thing. That’s why the word UNMERITED is inextricably linked to God’s grace.
God tells us emphatically that our new identity has already been created and that it exists right now. All we need to do is believe it and walk through his unlocked door.

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