Earlier this week, I proposed that in order to have good theology, you have to have bad grammar. Sometimes. Your keen eye may have noticed a number of qualifiers.
Sometimes . . .
In many cases . . .
Often . . .
And I even ended the blog with an obvious cliffhanger. This is by no means an effort to wiggle out of any absolutes. At all.
Our salvation is God’s work. Period. We are saved by grace alone. Boom. Jesus is the Way. End of story.
End of our “how do we get to heaven” story, that is.
I’ll admit that in my passion to make this clear to my friend, family, and even to myself, however, that I sometimes forget to tell the rest of the story.
Take, for example, a popular Bible verse that my friends and family know and love:
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
Beautiful. What freedom! What relief! What peace! We’re saved. Time to take a nap.
Wait. What?! No!!!
Dear friends, I beg of you. BEG OF YOU. When reading this passage. Stop stopping. Stop ending right there. Please. For the sake of balance, for the sake of the whole story, read verse ten as well.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
Hmmm. Okay, so there are things we do. We don’t do them to be saved. That’s done. We don’t do them because they were our idea—nope, even that is a gift from God. Gifted to be a gift to others. Blessed to be a blessing.
And so, my friends, we do. We go. We tell. We write. We serve. Because that’s who God has made us to be. Our God could have decided that He’s going to do all things for all people in a vacuum, but He’s chosen to to use us to serve one another. The love we have received enables us to share love to others, which in turn fills us with greater love for the One who had this great idea of an ongoing, complex chain of His people serving all people, that all may be His. (Deep breath. Bad grammar, perhaps? 😉 )
I don’t know about you, but that gives me chills. And joy. And a why behind all I do—writing included.
As I said earlier, it’s a balance. Let’s go back, then, to the hymn text I used as an example a few days ago. I used passive voice, and I’m owning it. We are passive when it comes to our salvation. And then, as children of God who are brought to the water and cleansed by the Word . . . we do.
Live as His children . . .
Follow the path . . .
Gather the lonely . . .
Bring them to Jesus . . .
Boldly go forth to the throne of I AM.
I pray that you find balance in the passive and active. I pray that you strive to tell the whole story. I pray that your identity as God’s precious friend brings you joy, freedom, and peace as you serve in the ways your Lord has prepared for you.