What are some of the different ways in which we imagine that we can commend ourselves to God and merit our salvation?
1. The Work of Philanthropy
“I’m going to give money. I’m going to help the needy.”
2. The Work of Service
“I’m going to volunteer. I’m going to give my time, my skill, my expertise. I’m going to get my hands dirty.”
3. The Work of Ritual
“I’m going to be committed to confession, communion, prayers, church attendance.”
4. The Work of Comparison
“I’m not perfect. But I can point you to many others who are worse than me.”
5. The Work of Comprehension
“I’m going figure out all the important questions about God, the Bible and salvation. Then they will have to accept me as a member of their church.”
6. The Work of Decision
“I made a decision, walked down the aisle, prayed the sinner’s prayer. Jesus is my personal saviour, right?”
7. The Work of Restitution
“I’ve done a lot of bad things in my life, but I’m going to put them all right. Then God will accept me.”
8. The Work of Affliction
“I beat myself up. But if I give myself hell here and now, then God won’t give me hell later.”
9. The Work of Meditation
“I can just go on a retreat and be quiet and still before God. He connects with me when I clear my mind. When I’m poised and quiet, God comes and meets me where I am. “
10. The Work of Seeking Affirmation
“Other Christians accept me as one of them, so therefore I must be ‘in’.”
Don’t count on any of this stuff to commend you to God. You have nothing that he needs.
Come to Christ with nothing. Then you have put yourself in the only position possible to receive his grace.
Summarising this post by Ed Moore.