For the past year God’s impressed upon me in various ways and through various sources a truth contained in two verses.
“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
Those two verses carry the core of Christianity, the way of following Christ. Those two verses set us apart from indigenous religions that attempt to manipulate God into doing our will. Those two verses set us apart from religious which tell us we have to complete specific good works to earn our redemption with God. And I’ve known for some time now in the grand scheme of my life that I can’t do enough good things to make myself right with God.
But I’ve found recently that while I know I cannot commit any action to improve my standing with Him, I still buy into the idea that by omitting certain actions I will find myself more in the right spot. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s the same false belief.
I think if I choose to be less selfish for example that I will be more in step with the Spirit. Oswald Chambers points out in “My Utmost For His Highest” that we can only be right with God by accepting the redeeming sacrifice of Christ. We have to admit we are powerless to affect our own righteousness and must depend solely on God.
Ultimately by reaching this point, we should find freedom. Freed from the burden of constantly striving to improve our condition, we can be wrapped around by the arms of God even more. Thus we have surrender in freedom, although freedom through such means goes against our human nature and intellect.