Philippians 3:3b (NLT)
We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort.
There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. There is also nothing you can do to make God love you less. God is love and he loves you and me unconditionally. If you want to experience true everlasting joy, hope, and peace in your life, you need to learn to rely on what Jesus has done for you.
Too often, believers tend to think that they have to earn God’s approval. They believe that what they do has a direct correlation to God’s love and recognition. This is an attitude of legalism, where instead of relying on God’s grace, we strive to prove that we are worthy of that grace.
God doesn’t judge us by a set of rules, regulations, rituals, or restrictions. He doesn’t judge us at all. In fact, while we are looking to ourselves, God in his mercy is seeking out our hearts. He doesn’t want our human effort. It’s worthless to him. He wants us to experience grace every day.
When we experience grace, we become people who live by grace. Instead of judging other people by what they do, we extend grace to them. We accept them as they are. We know we’re living by grace when we are gracious to other people. We realize God’s forgiveness and allow it to flow out of our lives. It becomes easier not to be offended. We serve out of joy instead of duty.
Grace is the opposite of legalism. When you embrace grace, it becomes that much harder to live by mere rules. Dwelling in the love and grace of God is the ultimate freedom. Grace liberates us to serve, to bear one another’s burdens, to trust, to love, to forgive, and to live in Christ not because of our own effort, but because of Christ’s effort on our behalf.
“Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace.”
— Karl Barth