6/29 Romans 11:6

6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

In Romans 11 Paul was explaining why the majority of Jews had not yet accepted Jesus as the Messiah. He explained that the current situation was just like it had been in the days of Elijah. Elijah thought he was alone, but God told him there were 7000 that had not bowed the knee to Baal. God's grace had preserved a remnant of believing Jews. Then Paul added our verse for today. It is grace that draws us out of our culture into the kingdom of God and grace that helps us to remain faithful to continue serving God.

Christians understand that grace has saved them, and then they desire to please God with their works. They take up a pattern of living that they think God would approve. What begins as a love response can turn into a routine of rule-keeping. When they fail, they feel they have failed God and can't be good Christians. They have forgotten that God was pleased with Jesus. He is our righteousness and sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30). Grace saved us and grace sees us through the experiential process of sanctification. That process isn't completed in this life. God couldn't love the backslidden believer any more than He already does.

We should increasingly recognize that we are daily recipients of the grace and love of God. Be grateful that Jesus died for all your sins, past, present and future. Get back up even more determined to let the Holy Spirit direct and sanctify you, but realize you will never be perfect in this life.

Consider: Men, when you think you've arrived, ask your wife how far you have yet to go. Thank God for His continual grace!