We all know what it is to work for something. I think of the first time I worked and got paid. I was eight years old and it was during the “tattie holidays” when Scottish students in farming communities were dismissed from school for a week to help pick the annual potato crop. My brother and I were given the assignment of picking up potatoes turned by up the digger. It was hard work!

However, at the end of the week, I received something I had never received before. It was a little wage packet with my name on it, and to me it was a fortune! Now, was that an act of grace by the farmer? No, I worked for it and received this payment as a wage. You work and you get a wage.

That’s what many people think is salvation. They work, they go to church, they are nice people, and they try to do all the right things. At the end of life as they stand before God, they imagine He says something like “You did 1-2-3-4-5, and yes, you messed up a bit, but you’re really a good person and you tried, so I’ll let you into heaven.”

The Bible tells us that this simply isn’t true. In Romans 4:5, the apostle Paul writes, “And to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” Paul is making a point, contrasting what we do, our work, with our faith, believing in Christ.

Salvation is not a wage or a reward. It is a gift from God, an undeserved gift of pure grace, given out of His great love for us.

John Munro

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