So, Truly Live

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How much of your time do you simply waste? A 2022 poll taken in Britain found that, on average, people waste about 2 hours per day, which comes out to 26 full days per year.

A few weeks before he died, the American novelist Jack London said this:

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.

It’s important for us to think about how we’re living. We shouldn’t want our lives to be wasted. Ephesians 5:15-16 says:

Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— making the most of the time, because the days are evil.

This is even more important for believers, since we exist for a purpose: to glorify God. With God as our Father, Jesus as our Savior, and the Holy Spirit as our Guide, we can truly live.

Ephesians 2:8-10 says:

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.

There are many verses of the Bible that I highly encourage you to memorize, such as John 3:16, The Romans Road (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, etc), The Greatest Commandments (Matthew 22:36-40). It’s good to memorize these because these are great summaries of what it means to be a Christian. Today’s passage is one of those sets of verses. They’re so important that we have verses 8-9 printed on the wall in the Fellowship Hall.

Our passage starts by talking about one of the most important concepts to Christianity: grace. (v. 8)

One of the coolest acts at the circus is the Flying Trapeze.

The Flying Trapeze consists of two people: the flyer and the catcher. The flyer must trust the catcher to catch them.

Grace is all about trusting God to catch us. Our faith is not built on our ability to get things right. Our faith is based completely on God’s ability to save us, even when we get things wrong.

In this passage, grace is talked about in contrast to works. (v. 9) We don’t earn salvation through our works, the things that we do. Salvation is a gift. Even our faith is a gift.

Brennan Manning was a Catholic priest who left the priesthood in order to get married.

Brennan Manning’s last book, which was his autobiography, is titled, “All is Grace.”

I want to share two things that Brennan wrote in this book.

Do you believe that the God of Jesus loves you beyond worthiness and unworthiness, beyond fidelity and infidelity—that he loves you in the morning sun and in the evening rain—that he loves you when your intellect denies it, your emotions refuse it, your whole being rejects it. Do you believe that God loves without condition or reservation and loves you this moment as you are and not as you should be.

Also:

This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It’s not cheap. It’s free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the Orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown-up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough.

So, just as I’ve preached many times over the years, salvation is 100% God’s gift to us. However, just because works don’t save us does NOT mean works are unimportant. (v. 10)

We are God’s workmanship! Albert Barnes wrote in his Notes on the Bible:

[Being God’s workmanship means that] we are ‘created or formed’ by him, not only in the general sense in which all things are made by him, but in that special sense which is denoted by the new creation.

The Greek word for “workmanship” is ???????.

We were created in Christ Jesus for good works! William Barclay said it like this:

All the good works in the world cannot put us right with God…Good works can never earn salvation; but there is something radically wrong if salvation does not produce good works.

Were were reborn in Christ to be holy, devoted to God, serving Him. God prepared our good works ahead of time for us to do. This is truly living! It’s loving God, and loving others, the way that Jesus did. And if we’ve been saved by Jesus, we should not be content merely to exist in life, wasting so many of our days, but we should press on to truly live.

And I preach all of this most of all to myself. I have wasted so much of my life. But God is good, and forgives me not on the basis of my works, but His grace.

And since God has brought us from death to life, we’re invited to truly live.