“What qualifies you to receive this grace? Nothing. Grace itself is the qualifier.”
This soothing truth warms my soul every Sunday as our pastor presents the Lord’s supper. I don’t know whether the particular wording is original. It may be common in Presbyterian circles, which, although familiar, are a new home and community to our family. Whether the wording is traditional or original or something in between, it’s a balm for our weary souls week after week.
This stuff is real, you guys. Our sin nature and our transgressions and our struggle against the flesh. And Grace. Our Savior and His death and resurrection. Our justification and our adoption. Our sanctification and our perseverance. Grace upon grace. It’s real. It’s all real. Does that move you?
I think too often those of us who have been in church for many years “know” these essential truths yet fail to recognize their reality and depth.
There’s something powerful about incorporating confession and assurance into a worship service – remembering our sins and struggles by turning them over to God Himself. Knowing that recognizing our own sin is a gift of grace, the ability to confess our sin is a gift of grace, the ability to repent and to struggle against sin is a gift of grace, and forgiveness and salvation are gifts of grace.
Grace we don’t qualify for.
Not even on our “best” day. Not by checking boxes of duty. Not by appearing holier or even by growing in holiness. We don’t contribute an iota. We can’t have a better week and be more deserving next time. Even at our most sparkly, amicable, and disciplined, we still need the person and work of Christ every bit as much. It’s all grace. Grace is the qualifier.
And guess what? We don’t somehow disqualify ourselves on our worst days, either. Grace is the qualifier.
It’s about what God has done, despite what we have done. And about trusting Him alone for salvation – which, yep, is a gift of grace, too.
Meditating on these things moves me toward deep gratitude and thankfulness and joy, which compels me toward growth and sanctification. Meditating on these things with my brothers and sisters every Sunday knits our hearts closer to one another. All of which are of grace, too. Thanks be to God.