9th September 2018

Show Your Work 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV UK) 

Do you remember being asked to “show your work” in maths tests? I sure do. I remember how frustrated I would get that I could get the actual answer to a problem correct, but I might still lose points if I didn’t show my work!

Years later, I now understand the principle. Showing your work is a way to display your understanding of the underlying principles that guide mathematics, and confirm to the teacher that your answers are based on the correct foundational elements. It actually reminds me of that verse in Ephesians reproduced above.

During times of doubt or personal struggle with sin, it is comforting and reassuring to know that our salvation is not based on us—on how well we behave, or how strong our faith is. It can be easy to think otherwise, unfortunately. We may know in our minds that our eternal salvation is secure in the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf, but sometimes that may not feel like enough. Instead, we might feel like a test-taker being asked to “show our work,” to somehow prove that we have earned the outcome we know to be true. The voice of the accuser can enter our thoughts, asking, “What is your salvation really based on, though?”

Of course, if our salvation were based on anything we’ve accomplished, we would certainly be in trouble! But thankfully, we know that the opposite is true. Our salvation is solely by God, of God, and through God, from beginning to end. The ‘work’ of our salvation has already been shown, on the cross, when Jesus redeemed us for all time. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

I know that verse says, “not by works, so that no one can boast,” but to me it might as well say, “not by works, so that no one can worry.” Our faith does not save us. God saves us. Which means that no matter how good or bad a test-taker you might be, the answer is already a passing grade.

Merciful Father, we give thanks to you every day for the work of salvation accomplished on our behalf by your Son. And that we are acceptable always in your sight. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach


About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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