26th March 2018

Manual or Automatic

“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV) 

We have four children. The oldest, our daughter, and the youngest, a son, both insist on driving cars with manual gearboxes. They are adamant that a manual gearbox gives them more control even though it’s harder to drive than an automatic. Our middle two children, both sons, are equally adamant that driving a car with an automatic gearbox is much easier, more sensible and a more relaxing drive. As it happens my wife and I also drive a car with an automatic gearbox which we agree is easier!

Which brings us to the question, are you a manual or automatic Christian?

Manual Christians are no less sincere, dedicated and faithful than automatic Christians but there is one crucial difference: Manual Christians believe they have to work to earn their salvation. They believe, sincerely, that they must follow a set of rules, or laws, in order to be good Christians and to earn their salvation. Just like driving a car with a manual gearbox, it is harder work, but they believe it is essential and gives them control. The technical term for their approach to being Christians is called Legalism.

On the other hand automatic Christians are relaxed because they know Jesus Christ is in the driving seat. Automatic Christians believe, sincerely, that their salvation and future depends on what Jesus Christ has already done for them, not on what they do themselves. That does not mean they live sinful, undisciplined lives but that they recognise their inadequacy and need for God’s love and mercy in a different way. Automatic Christians know they cannot earn their salvation by keeping a set of rules or laws but by surrendering their lives to God. Their motivation is to build a relationship with God in response to the love God has shown us through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This Easter all Christians will celebrate the awesome love of God in sending his son to die for us and then to show, through his resurrection and life, that he has conquered death. It is not easy to understand the difference between the two approaches but it is much easier to be an automatic rather than a manual Christian. Whether you drive a manual or automatic gearbox car, why not join us to find out the amazing spiritual difference between manual and automatic Christianity? 

Loving Father, help us to surrender our will and life to you, knowing that through Jesus Christ our battle is already won. In Jesus name we pray.

Study by Keith Hartrick


About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Print This Article


Got something to say?