8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.] Ephesians 2:8-9
“You can do it yourself” is a theme which screams at us daily. There is a belief in our culture that we can achieve change through morality without God. This is the self-effort and self-help mindset. Man can do it by himself without the need for God.
There is a belief in our culture that our “religion” can save us; we do not need repentance for our sin. We can be saved through self-help with our “religious activity.”
If self-help can change a person, then Jesus’ death on the cross is meaningless. If self-help and self-effort are the answer to all life’s problems, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is of no merit. If self-help by being good is the answer to life’s problems, then we do not need Jesus’ forgiveness and redemption. If self-help through manmade government can solve the social ills of society, then the Cross of Calvary was not necessary.
Self-help cannot transform a person’s life. Self-help cannot forgive sin. Self-help cannot give eternal life. Self-help cannot convict a person to forgive someone who has harmed him. Self-help cannot bring peace, joy and love. Self-help cannot transform a society.
If self-help and self-cleansing worked, then a criminal could be changed into a saint. Without repentance there can be no change. Without the forgiveness of sin there can be no change.
It is only by God’s grace and HIS grace alone we are saved, redeemed, and transformed.
Copyright © 2014 Glenn Repple ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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