Resting from our labors

“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not be works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7

Sometime it is so difficult to grasp the concept of grace. Maybe because we live in a culture where those who work hard are rewarded and where achievement is praised. Maybe it is the stubborn willfulness of the 2 year old that remains in us throughout our lives that continues to cry “I can do it myself!” Maybe it is a deal that seems too good to be true. Infinitely too good.

Religion and works have traditionally gone hand in hand. And in our natural way of thinking, it seems right that it should be so. While I admittedly have a limited knowledge of other religions, I believe I would be correct in saying that Christianity is the only one where works are excluded as having any merit in relation to obtaining righteousness.

Don’t miss this word —– excluded. There is nothing I can ever do to make myself more accepted by God or more righteous in His sight once I have trusted Christ for my salvation. The imputation of Christ’s righteousness to me the moment I believed has been and forever will be my only basis of righteousness. How ridiculous (and even insulting) it is to the Lamb of God when we attempt to add our own puny efforts to the work of the cross.

What perfect, holy blood and what a perfect, holy life was poured out on Calvary. So wonderfully complete was this sacrifice that it suffices for all who call upon His name for the duration of time.

Whiter than snow. A new creation. This is what I am now because of Jesus.

The labor was His. The benefit is mine. So I will rest in His labors and rest from mine.