If anyone understood grace it was the apostle Paul. He called himself “the chief of sinners” but ended up chief of the apostles. Only grace can do that. Someone once said, “If you ever see a turtle sitting on top of a fence post, he didn’t get there by himself.” Nothing in that turtle would enable him to climb a post. When you see a man or woman sitting in church, delivered from addictions, saved and healed, you can know one thing for sure: they didn’t get there by themselves. God, in His grace, raised them up! And I’m thankful for the grace of God.
What we’ve been given in Jesus is a “grace package” that helps us get where we can’t get on our own. When I preach, it’s not through my own ability, but by God’s grace. That’s what enables me to do what I can’t do on my own. His grace makes us effective in whatever He calls us to do.
But in Galatians 2:21, Paul warns the church not to “frustrate” the grace of God. How do we do that? By entering into legalism. By believing that our effort or good deeds can save us. When we try to earn our salvation or act like we deserve it, we frustrate the grace of God by implying it wasn’t necessary for Jesus to die because we can fix ourselves.
When grace really touches your life, you don’t say things like, “I can go and do whatever I want because I’m covered by grace.” True grace teaches you to walk away from things that are not of God. There are some things I don’t do because grace forbids me to do them. Maybe instead of always trying to add things to a “to-do list,” we should add some things to a “to-don’t-do list.”