Sometimes we, while acknowledging Christ as our Savior, still have this feeling that we must act a certain way to merit God’s fellowship. When we fail, we get the sense that God is angry with us. We know that Jesus died for our sins, yet we still feel like there is something we must do to continue on in unbroken relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Where do these thoughts and feelings come from? They are the result of trying to mix elements of the old covenant of the law with elements of the new covenant of God’s grace. Though we understand that Jesus came to save us (John 3:17), we sometimes feel that we must do something to try to merit our salvation, and God’s blessings in our lives. We get caught up in the mentality of system of the Old Testament, in which mankind was rewarded for obedience, and punished for wrong-doing. That was how man related to God under the old covenant. In the new covenant, however, because of what Jesus has done, the blessing of redemption and relationship with God – as well as all of the other blessings promised in His Word – are free gifts of grace, which we need only receive.
God loved us so much, that He gave His only Son for us (John 3:16). We have been justified by Jesus’ blood, and saved from God’s wrath through Him (Romans 5:9). Romans 8:32 (NASB) declares that “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” If God gave Jesus for us, how will be not also give us all the other good things His Word promises? Our righteousness is apart from the law (Romans 3:21). Because we have been made right in God’s eyes, we are now qualified to receive all of His blessings, including on-going, undisrupted relationship with Him.
Rather than trying to mix together parts of the old and new covenants – bits and pieces of law and grace – let’s receive the good news of the gospel in its entirety. Instead of relying on our own good works, let’s depend solely on Christ’s finished work at the cross. Let’s accept God’s blessings as free gifts from a loving Heavenly Father, rather than rewards of merit for good behavior. Let’s abandon the mixture, and receive God’s unmerited favor on our lives today!