God's word in today's world

Don’t mess with Sola Gratia

Central to the Reformed theology is Sola Gratia: We are saved through the grace of God alone. There is nothing that I can do that will unlock the gates of heaven for me. Actually, the entry tickets to heaven are handed out for free on the street corners. The tickets have been paid for already. Yes, and the price was extremely high: The life of the Son of God. God had so much pity for man as he struggled, stumbled and fell, just short of the gates, that God was prepared to give everything. The price has been paid. We’ve been freed of the ties of sin that bound us.

Many people struggle with the fact that only Jesus could bring about this salvation. We are not used to getting something for free. Especially today when so many scams end up on your cell phone or computer telling you about the millions you had inherited from the aunt you never knew you had. Yes, all of us had responded to at least one of those, because, what if it’s true! But unfortunately, we find every time that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. One way or another you have to work or pay to get it. Being confronted with things like this every day, it is not easy to simply accept the salvation brought about by Jesus. You keep feeling as if you had to do something to earn it.

Sometimes it’s still too difficult for me as well to understand that God’s grace is big enough to accommodate even me and all my sin. But when I realise what Jesus did for me, I can do nothing but start working out of gratitude and indeed do something. Then I want to live within my Father’s will. Then, when I fall down, I have to work hard to get up again out of gratitude for what He had done for me.

But we must be careful not to mess with God’s grace. It’s like people who get a house for free. Many of them mess it up – often in the first year of living in it. It drives you to tears when you see how bad those small houses look after just a short while. But that is what happens when you get something for free. Struggling makes you appreciate and care for your possessions. But if you get it for free, you don’t realise the value. Fortunately, some do and look after their house, making a nice garden and keeping the inside neat.

But people also tend to mess with the grace Jesus brings. Have you ever said to yourself that you will just allow this small sin through for now, because tomorrow you’ll apologise and make up for it? Then you’re messing with the Sola Gratia. Paul warns us: 13t is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom.

Some of us will immediately deny everything and insist that we’ll never do something like that. That may be so, but we mess with God’s grace and the freedom He gives us in other ways as well. The second part of verse 13 tells us how it is when we don’t mess: 13… Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. 

That makes you realise that we all mess sometimes, because we all forget this love thing now and then. Think back on the past week, how many times were you not the least; how many times did you put yourself first and did not share the love of God with the people around you? That’s messing with God’s free gifts!

Let’s try to stop messing with God’s freedom and grace. Let’s go today and look for a place where we can share His love. When we truly understand what God had done for us, we will, we must, we shall love one another.

Galatians 5:13-26


Do you sometimes mess with God’s grace?

Where can you share love?

In your marriage, with your family, at work?



Father, your love for us cost You everything. Your son died for us. Please help me to be prepared to die in myself every day and to follow You obediently. Please help me to show your love for me to others. Amen

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