The Bible doesn’t say, “By grit you have been saved through effort: this is your part. It is your gift to God.”But tragically, many who say they believe in Jesus hold this old falsehood closer than they grasp the truth: “By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”(Eph 2:8-9). We strain to earn what Jesus freely gives, all unaware He wants to change our attitudes even more than our behavior. Grace teaches us to trust, and “trust” is yet another word for “faith.” What we give up when we rely on Christ is much more than our taste for fatty foods or hours wasted on the Web: we give up fantasies that sweat and intelligent self-will will ever make us worthy of eternity. The One who cannot lie says “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer 31:3). With such affection, broad and deep, we are encircled and enabled. So stay in grace. -Bill Knott
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