“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NKJV)

Today I’m starting a new series called ‘One Hundred Percent Grace, Zero Percent Performance”.

Performance. Performance. Performance. We live in a performance-oriented world. Perform well and you get approval and often you get rewarded. Perform well in school and you get a good grade. Perform well enough at school and you become dux and possibly a full scholarship. Perform well on the playing field and the crowd applauds you. Perform well on the job and you get a raise and possibly a promotion. Perform exceptionally well and you get that big contract.

When we become Christians, we bring our performance mentality with us. We think we gain God’s approval by our performance. If we go to church, read our Bible, pray, tithe, help our neighbour and do the Christian stuff, then God is pleased with us. We feel we have earned His love. We feel we are accepted by Him. However, today’s key verses reveal the very opposite,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NKJV)

These verses make it clear that God’s grace and faith ALONE, saved us. The phrases ‘that not of yourselves’ and ‘not of works’ mean exactly that. God did it all through Jesus Christ. We did not and do not contribute a single thing to our salvation, to God loving us, healing us, protecting us, guiding us, blessing us and so on. It’s 100% Jesus and zero percent performance from us.   

We were saved by grace without any performance on our part. Jesus Christ did all the performing! We cannot add to what Jesus has already done. We cannot outperform Jesus. What we need to understand is the power of Christ living in us. In our born-again spirits. It’s not about our performing; it is about depending, relying, trusting in Jesus living His life from within us.   

Grace is liberation from performance (legalism) AND the power of Christ in us to do God’s will.

Because of God’s great love, we read our Bible not to gain God’s approval but because we want to know Him better. We go to church not to impress God but to fellowship with our brothers and sisters whom we will spend all of eternity with, in heaven. We tithe not to get God’s attention but because we love God’s work and want to support the advancement of His Kingdom on earth. We make Christ Lord of our life because it is the only way we can correctly walk this walk. We are free in Christ. I do not have to read my Bible; I want to read my Bible. I do not have to go to church; I want to go to church. I do not have to tithe; I want to tithe. I love to read my Bible. I love to go to church. I love to tithe. I love God because I have received God’s great love for me. By the grace of God I am who I am. God puts the desire in me to do what I should do and He gives me the power to do what He wants me to do. The grace of God is at work in me. I do not perform; I freely, willingly and gladly serve! Now that’s Amazing Grace!

Grace is God’s empowering presence enabling me to be who He created me to be. It’s all about Jesus and none about me.

In short G.R.A.C.E. – God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense!