“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”This passage to me is a great passage that begins to open up many doors to theological discourse. However, I am also an individual that likes to go simple at times and connect the passage to my daily life and the things that are occurring in the world.
This is the sentence that jumps out to me:
God does both the making and saving.
So, many times, I think that we (intentionally or uninitentionally) put it on us and not God. His love and grace is truly a gift to us. There is nothing that we can do but trust.
One of the challenging things for us is to JOIN him in the work He does. Too often, I see individuals with a mindset of we are going to go and do this ....... when we do not realize that God is already at work there and we are going and joining/partnering with the mission taking place.
With me working / serving / member in an ELCA, I love looking for components and aspects of Martin Luther. I think this quote can be a springboard from this passage An Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans :
Faith is a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God's grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace.I hope that I do not brag. I hope that I am always pointing to God. Everything is from Him.