Does God Have Enough Grace to Save Even Me?
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
In yesterday’s reflection, we considered the possibility that some people might be insulted by the good news that salvation comes only by God’s grace. Those who pride themselves on their self-reliance might not take kindly to the fact that all of us are saved by grace alone.
As a pastor, I have known a few people who have been insulted by the assumption that they need grace in order to be saved. But I have known many more with the opposite problem. These folk know they can’t save themselves. They admit their weakness and sinfulness. They do not believe that God owes them salvation because, on balance, they are good people. Rather, they are overcome by their guilt. Their hearts echo the confession of Psalm 51: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge” (vv. 3-4). People like this are not insulted by their inability to save themselves. Rather, they are fearful that even God doesn’t have enough grace to save them. They worry that they have exhausted God’s supply of grace.
Ephesians addresses this concern in several places. Chapter 1 celebrates God’s “glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves” (1:6). The next verse refers to “the riches of God’s grace” (1:7). In Chapter 2, immediately before saying that we have been saved by grace, Paul mentions “the incomparable riches of [God’s] grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (2:7). The Greek word translated here as “incomparable” also means “surpassing, extraordinary, or outstanding.” There is more of God’s grace than you and I could ever comprehend or imagine.
So, if you ever ask, “Does God have enough grace to save even me?” the answer is clear. Yes, absolutely. But not just enough grace, more than enough. You can never use up the grace of God. No matter your failure, no matter your sin, God can and will save you by his glorious, incomparably rich, all-surpassing grace. Believe this good news! Live it!
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Have you ever wondered if you might exhaust God’s grace? How might the quality of grace as revealed in Ephesians make a difference in your life?
PRAYER: All praise be to you, O God, because your grace is glorious. All praise be to you, O God, because your grace is incomparably rich. All praise be to you, O God, because your grace surpasses my understanding, my imagination, even my need. All praise be to you, O God, because you have saved me by your grace, your amazing grace. Amen.
Image courtesy of Laity Lodge, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.