Saved how?: Zero Payments Forever

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Too many of us think of God’s free gift of salvation like a store credit offer for an expensive item: Zero down! Zero interest! Zero payments for six months! The problem with those offers is that after six months, the store is going to start calling and asking where my payments are. And I won’t have the money then any more than I have it now. All those zeroes will turn into numbers, and I’ll still have to pay.

beach_350Because God’s gift is so unbelievable, we don’t believe it. We know we couldn’t save ourselves. We know we were dead in our sins. We know he made us alive and gave us a future with him. But then we think we’ve got to start making payments. We think its time to start writing checks back to God with our good works so we can at least contribute to the huge bill of sin that Jesus paid off with his death.

Listen to this verse again very carefully. No payments. Ever. Period. We could not earn our salvation before, and we can’t pay for even a little bit of it after. From the start, every sin is paid off. We’re already seated in heaven with Jesus. It’s a done deal. God does not offer creative financing on eternity. God gives it away to sinners who trust in Jesus.

Think: Why is it so hard for us to believe that we don’t somehow earn even a tiny part of our salvation?

Pray: Thank God again for doing everything to include you in the free gift of salvation forever; ask him to help you to leave behind the idea that you are somehow earning your place with him.

Do: Find a good motivation for doing good that isn’t about guilt (for Jesus’ dying for me) or fear (that I’ll get punished if I do bad). (Hint: Read the next verse.)