“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-9
As a teacher, the use of calculators is commonplace. In the modern world, generally everyone understands conceptually how to use a calculator. At the very least, the function is obvious- to calculate. Calculating indicates assessment. As the old saying goes, “You put two and two together and you got your answer.”
Recently, I have administered End-of-Course exams to a number of classes. While watching these students apply their intelligence and manipulate their calculators to get the correct answers, I thought to myself: How often do we try God this way?
It makes sense to us to say, “My faith plus works surely will illicit God’s favor,” or perhaps, “I pray with thanksgiving as the preacher man told me to do, therefore God has to grant my request,” or [insert whatever situation you find yourself in].
I hear so often people say, “I’m a good person,” however, time and time again we plug this equation into our day to day rhythms and the answer never comes out right. The problem is not only the variables inserted into the calculator, it is also how you work it. Faith is not worked left to right (e.g., a + b -> c), it is only possible when worked right to left (e.g., c -> a + b).
God’s favor (grace) -> Faith + Nothing
The answer precedes the problem. God identifies Himself as “the Alpha and the Omega” which is the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8; Revelations 22:13). He provided the solution many years ago and knew the solution before the beginning of the world. Plug in faith and nothing else then you have grace everlasting. Changing the formula will always lead to a wrong answer and confusion.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” ~ Ephesians1:3
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. ~ Romans 8:1