There’s a church a few miles from my house named The Perfect Church. For years I thought that was the worst possible name for a church, or at least the most ridiculous. Then this morning I saw a church van driving through a parking deck. It was the classic long white van with the name plastered across in maroon letters…
I hoped it was the name of their town, and in a horrible mistake they didn’t think through the meaning of the name and how absolutely anti-Christian in message it is. But it wasn’t the name of their town and it was, and still is, a horrible mistake of a name. Jesus and Paul had other ideas about effort.
Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9, “8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Not works – not effort. Grace.
Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30, “28″Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Not weary and burden – not effort. Grace. The gift of righteousness comes living, like a person, not a vase. Meaning, when it is given to us by God, without our effort, it starts moving around in us producing changes. Effort has little to do with it.
Take a read of my previous post on the gospel rescuing us from our effort.