“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain.
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I,
but the grace of God that is with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
Jerry Bridges is quoted as saying, “Life is joint venture between God and man. We cannot do what God must do, and God will not do what we should do.”
I remember back when my wife and I thought it would be nice to have a little garden in our backyard—nothing big, just a few plants. So, here’s what we…didn’t do.
- When it was time to prepare the ground, we didn’t.
- When it was time to plant the seeds, we didn’t.
- When it was time to weed, we didn’t.
Then, one day, we looked at the place where the garden was supposed to be, and said, “Hey, God where are all the vegatables!?” I know that’s a ridiculous story right? To think that without plowing, planting and weeding that somehow “by God’s grace” vegtable plants are going to appear and provide us with food on the table.
It’s just as ridiculous to think that we can…
- Grow spiritually without reading the Bible,
- Become worshipers without worshiping,
- Connect with other believers without reaching out,
- Serve while sitting on our rear ends,
- Share the message of Jesus without opening our mouths.
Yes, salvation and every good gift are by God’s grace. At the same time, He expects us to do what He has graciously created and made us to do.
Grace was not an excuse for Paul to slack off. To think, “Well, I’ve already been there done that.” To become lazy in his armchair of grace. He “worked harder than all of them.”
Yet, he realized that all his efforts as a believer were for naught unless graced by God.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23–24