As we continue in this series, “God the Bounty Hunter” I think its important to look at a theme in Paul’s life that never faltered. If there was anything that was clear to Paul, it was that he was totally undeserving of God’s grace. Paul knew throughout his life that not only was he the “worst of sinners” at one point in his life as 1 Timothy 1:15 says, but that each day he had to rely completely and fully on the God’s grace.
The problem for many of us is that we have this tendency to slip back into a works performed = wages earned system. I don’t know if its something that we Americans struggle with more than other cultures, but we really do want to earn our keep so to speak. So we start to believe that our good deeds some how should count for something in regards to our salvation. Worse yet we start to project this on other people, that if they aren’t doing the right things they will be undeserving of God’s grace. We can so easily lose sight of the fact that no one, not one person is deserving of God’s Grace. Paul never lost sight of that.
Paul taught that we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God in Romans 3:23 and that if we want to live in the work/wage system that we will only end up with death and separation as he said in Romans 6:23. Paul wrestled every day with the lingering “body of sin” as he called it. He often did things he didn’t want to do, and didn’t do the things he wanted to do. He desperately wanted to be delivered from his struggle, but he never for a moment questioned his salvation based on that struggle. Meaning he didn’t earn salvation by being good, he wasn’t going to lose it by being bad. Salvation will produce good works in us, but we can never reverse that cause and effect. If we flip it around and start to believe the lie that good works produce salvation we have abandoned the Gospel, which means good news. Because that certainly would not be good news! Every day we should remind ourselves of the words of Paul and make them our own, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, that as Jesus said He came to seek and save the lost, he came for the sick, and that is what we were and what we would be without him, defined by sin, lost without hope, and sick. If you are a follower of Jesus, Paul’s story is certainly your story. If you are not, his story most certainly could be.Tags: God the bounty hunter, Paul