The degree to which we believe that grace alone saves us is the degree to which we will walk freely in our faith. A “yes grace, but,” mentality is what keeps morality and self righteousness swimming around inside of us, our families and churches. It is not as if we took some spiritual medicine that God, the good doctor, offered to us or that we flipped on the light switch while God provided the light and power. NO! The bible says that we were dead and that God, being rich in mercy made us alive (Ephesians 2:1-11, Colossians 2:13-14). We played no part, we did not flip the switch, we did not take the medicine. Dead men don’t do things! Jerry Bridges says it like this:
“To the extent that you’re clinging to any vestiges of self-righteousness or putting any confidence in your own spiritual attainments, to that degree you are not living by the grace of God in your life. This principle applies both in salvation and in living the Christian life. Grace and good works (that is, works done to earn favor with God) are mutually exclusive. We cannot stand, as it were, with one foot on grace and the other on our own works of merit. If you’re trusting to any degree in your own morality or religious attainments, or if you believe God will somehow recognize any of your good works as merit toward your salvation, you need to seriously consider if you’re truly a Christian. We must be absolutely clear about the truth of the gospel of salvation. More than two hundred years ago, Abraham Booth (1734-1806), a Baptist pastor in England, wrote, “Let the reader … carefully remember, that grace is either absolutely free, or it is not at all: and, that he who professes to look for salvation by grace, either believes in his heart to be saved entirely by it, or he acts inconsistently in affairs of the greatest importance.”” Gerald Bridges;Jerry Bridges. Holiness Day by Day: Transformational Thoughts for Your Spiritual Journey Devotional (p. 48). Kindle Edition.