Published on August 25th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
You Don’t Have to Save Yourself
Too often, I see people struggling through life carrying burdens they created for themselves. Those burdens could be resentment, anger, fear, addictions, laziness, or anything else that keeps them from experiencing success. The painful problems they can’t handle on their own make them bitter and discouraged, and they wonder sadly if that’s all there is to life. The good news is that God would like nothing better than to replace their pain with victory and joy.
God offers us that successful life through His grace, but few people understand how grace works. The world tells us that we must solve our problems ourselves, and if we want to be a better person, we have to embark on some kind of self-improvement program all on our own. Many people know when they have sin in their lives, and they genuinely want to do something about it. But the trap is thinking we can save ourselves from it.
God knows we can’t save ourselves from sin, so He sent Jesus, Who is Grace, to do the work for us. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9, 10). Even the most conscientious person with the best of intentions won’t have what it takes to make a clean break from whatever demon they’re struggling with. When we rely on our own willpower—or whatever you want to call it—we’re just too weak.
Grace is God’s undeserved, unearned favor, given to us because of His love for us despite all of our weaknesses and shortcomings. Grace is determined to snatch us from the jaws of defeat and failure, and put us high on a mountaintop of abundant, highly visible success for everyone to see. He does that by His Spirit, Who advises and counsels us regarding what to embrace and what to avoid. “For what the flesh wants is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to the flesh. They are opposed to each other, and so you do not do what you want to do. But if you are being led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law” (Galatians 5:17, 18, ISV).
Grace is part of the same God Who created the earth, the sky, the universe, and all living things. He’s the same One Who rose from the dead after being crucified, so His power and authority has been firmly established. When we believe in His promises and accept Him, this same Grace comes to live in us and empower us the same way. He gives us the strength to achieve victory over sin. “For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God’s favor and mercy]” (Romans 6:14, AMP).
This is possible through the covenant of Grace, which is based on the finished works of Jesus Christ. Unlike the old covenant, which was made through Moses and the Law, this new covenant frees us from the performance-based requirements that we work hard to get what we want out of life. God wants us to experience abundant goodness, favor, and mercy, and He has already made it available for us to claim for ourselves. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).