That sentence comes at the end of today's installment of Our Daily Bread. I found the entire piece moving.
But as it moved me, it also conveyed great Biblical theology, based on Micah 6:1-8. (Incidentally, be sure to read the hyperlinked passage from Micah before reading the hyperlinked Our Daily Bread post.)
So often, we see the frequently-quoted (and beautiful) Micah 6:8, in isolation from its context. Viewed in that way, it's possible for us to think that God is commanding the performance of good deeds--doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God--as means by which we earn God's forgiveness and grace.
But when you look at the verses immediately preceding verse 8, you see that the theme here is that forgiveness and relationship with God cannot be secured by the performance of good deeds. We can't earn God's favor, forgiveness, or the new and eternal life, what we Christians call salvation, that only He can give.
Life with God isn't like being a contestant on Let's Make a Deal.
Life with God is like this:
- FIRST, we surrender to and receive God's grace. God already loves you. God already has done everything needed for you to be reconciled to Him. He did it all through Jesus Christ. You don't have to make deals with God by performing guilt- or fear-induced good works.
- THEN, good works become not ways of winning the approval of people or of God, but of expressing our thanks to God for all His undeserved gifts, most especially the gift of Christ, God in the flesh, Who lived, died, and rose to give all these gifts to who will divest themselves of their addiction to sin (repent) and surrender their whole lives to Christ (believe only in Him).