Faith misplaced?

by Rev Lai Kai Ming

Readings: Ezekiel 18:1-19:14, Psalms 57:1-11

READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
Ezekiel 18:22-23 (NKJV)
None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

The Israelites were accusing God of being unfair. Those who were wicked, when they repent, were forgiven. Those who were righteous, when they sin, were punished. Apparently, the Israelites thought that all their previous sacrifices and good works had chalked up for them enough merits. When they sinned, they had expected God to take into account their past credits, and pardon them. No, says the Lord. If the Israelites had truly been righteous, they would not have fallen into such idolatry. God wants to save everyone, even the wicked. But He will look for the fruits of His grace, to determine if we are truly saved.

Am I saved by works, or by grace? Why does God required righteous living, as proof of our faith? Are we not saved purely by the merits of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross? Saved by grace we are … but what is grace? As someone once said, grace does not come cheap. Grace is costly, and grace demands that we respond in a worthy manner. Every time I sin willfully, I despise the grace of God. If my repentance does not bear lasting righteousness, I need to ask if my faith has been misplaced.

Lord, show me the true state of my heart, and save me from delusions in my mind. Help me to receive your grace gratefully, and worthily.