It’s All By God’s Grace

Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,

Daniela and I are happy to be back with you after our vacation in the United States.  Thank you for your prayers while we were away, and thanks also to Adrian Groza, Oliver Herrmann, and Andreas Wiget for preaching in my absence.

As I’m sure you know, last week and this week the Summer Olympics have been taking place.  It’s exciting to watch some of the world’s most accomplished athletes competing against each other.  All of these athletes have worked incredibly hard to sharpen their skills, increase their speed, develop their strength, etc.  For years, they have labored, pouring out every ounce of strength, endurance, and determination they have to excel in their sport.

This is true for all the athletes competing in the Olympics.  Of course, in each event only one will win the gold medal, another the second-place silver medal, and one more the bronze medal for third place.  For all the other athletes, they will go home only with the memories of the competition.  They probably put forth just as much work and effort as the winning athletes, but will have no medals to show for it.

How wonderful that God has not ordered our salvation in the same way.  If we had to work for our salvation, it would all be in vain, for we could never do enough works to earn such a priceless gift.  Praise God, we don’t have to.  Eph. 2:8-9 reminds us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”  God’s gift of salvation is free; we receive it simply by trusting in the work Christ did for us on the cross

Unlike the many Olympic athletes who labored hard for many years but will receive no medal, we have the assurance of gaining the greatest prize of all by trusting not in what we have done, but in what Christ has done for us.  No one need be disappointed because they did not work hard enough or long enough for their salvation, because it does not depend on our work or effort.  It all depends on the work of God through the cross of Christ.  Let us thank God daily for the wondrous gift of His amazing grace!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Bob

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