Goodbye, Performance . . . Hello, Grace!

We should try to live our lives according to biblical principles, right?

Any problem with that?

Maybe so.

We live in a culture where our value and worth is often determined by how we perform. If we achieve, we are rewarded with money or fame or admiration. If we fail, we are ignored or derided. 

The Kingdom of God is not a performance-based environment. It’s a grace-based environment. You are loved by your Creator--not because of your performance--but in spite of it. You are loved because He has chosen to love you. 

Our performance culture tells us that on our good days God smiles on us, and on our bad days he frowns at us.

But the gospel tells us something different.

When you achieve, He delights in you. When you stumble, He delights in you. 

But what about the biblical principles? Shouldn’t we try to follow them? Won’t that please God?

Maybe. It depends.

Look at it this way with me. 

Let’s say there are two women. One is a loving wife and devoted mom who has little or no interest in God. The other is a loving wife and devoted mom who treasures Christ above all else in life.

Both are living their lives according to biblical principles. 

But God calls one of them His friend. The other will one day face His righteous wrath.

The reason why one is a friend of God and the other isn’t has nothing to do with how the two women live their lives.

It has to do with how Christ lived His life. 

Someone has said that we should take our sins and place them in one pile, and take our good deeds and place them in another pile, and then abandon both piles and run to Jesus. 

As followers of Christ, we live according to biblical principles because that’s what we long to do. It’s what we were created to do. It brings us delight to live the way God made us to live.

But living by biblical principles is not what saves you. 

It’s not even what transforms you. 

Only the Spirit of God working through the Word of God can do that.

Is your hope found in your performance? Are you subconsciously thinking that you will find an abundant life through your faithful obedience to God’s Word?

Hope is found in Jesus. The abundant life is found in Jesus. God delights in you because of Jesus.

Beware of moralism disguising itself as Christianity. There is wisdom in living according to biblical principles.

But there is a difference between biblical principles and the gospel. 

And only Jesus can save you and transform your life. That’s the good news.    

About the Author

Bob Lepine

Bob Lepine

Bob Lepine is best known to radio and podcast listeners as the long-time co-host of FamilyLife Today® and as the on-air announcer for Truth for Life with Alistair Begg. Bob is the teaching pastor at Redeemer Community Church in … read more …

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