My son is 6 years old. I love 6 years old. It is a magical age when many new concepts in the world around us gain clarity. Take this example (for instance):
Josh is blessed to have two sets of very generous grandparents. For most big events, visits, etc. Josh will get a little bit of money from his Grams and Po or Grandma and Grandpa. This sum is usually not large, but is large enough to prompt Josh to ask if we can go to Toys ‘R Us or Target and “get something.”
So, Josh arrives at Toys ‘R Us with his $10 bill and proceeds to ask me again and again, “Can I buy this?”
- “No Josh. You cannot afford the 1,000 piece Lego replica of the Death Star. It costs $490 more than you have.”
- “No Josh. You cannot afford the XBox 360. It is $300 more than you have.”
- “No Josh. You cannot afford the brand new bicycle. It is $100 more than you have.”
I am serious. I really think these conversations are cute. They are the product of an optimistic (if not naive) mind that truly thinks he has enough for most everything in the store . . . even if $10 will buy you almost nothing at the toy store.
I was thinking about this today as I prepared for the Sunday morning sermon at Wildwood this week in our “FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Christianity.” This week, we are probing at the question, “Is salvation really as easy as ‘by grace through faith?'” The heart behind this question is the perspective that we should be able to earn our salvation by our good works . . . that salvation should be a work we do for God and are rewarded with the prize of eternity, NOT a gift that He gives to us out of His generous Spirit.
As I reflected on the “our works = our salvation” equation, I was reminded of my son in Toys ‘R Us. Basically, we are showing up in eternity with our $10 worth of good works, hoping to be able to buy anything in the store. The problem is that eternal life with our Holy God is much more expensive than we think.
Thankfully, we have a God who has given us more than just $10 worth of opportunity. He has given us much, much more through Jesus Christ. This Sunday, we will look at this idea more as we explore Matthew 5:17-40, as well as other New Testament passages in pursuit of an answer to the question, “Is salvation really by ‘grace through faith?'” Join us in either our 9:30 or 10:50 service to find out more.