It's Not My House
We walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Picture salvation as a house that you live in.
It provides you with protection. It is stocked with food and drink that will last forever. It never decays or crumbles. Its windows open onto vistas of glory.
God built it at great cost to himself and to his Son, and he gave it to you.
The “purchase” agreement is called a “new covenant.” The terms read: “This house shall become and remain yours if you will receive it as a gift and take delight in the Father and the Son as they inhabit the house with you. You shall not profane the house of God by sheltering other gods nor turn your heart away after other treasures.”
Would it not be foolish to say yes to this agreement, and then hire a lawyer to draw up an amortization schedule with monthly payments in the hopes of somehow balancing accounts?
You would be treating the house no longer as a gift, but a purchase. God would no longer be the free benefactor. And you would be enslaved to a new set of demands that he never dreamed of putting on you.
If grace is to be free — which is the very meaning of grace — we cannot view it as something to be repaid
John Piper, Solid Joys Devotional http://solidjoys.desiringgod.org/en/devotionals/grace-must-be-free
I have known for a very long time that many people add things they have to do to their salvation, or even if they don't believe that works add to their salvation, they still act as though the things they do are to somehow pay God back. I have always thought that it is a human tendency, for myself included, because we feel really bad for our sin. We wish there was something we could do that would make it up to Him. Which of course we never could, but we kinda feel like we should try. I still think sometimes that's the case, and it's a way of thinking some people fall into. But I think that there is a bigger reason at play.
If God bought the house, it's His house, His rules. He is giving it to us to live in but it is truly a gift, nothing we could do could earn it. Sometimes, I think we try to earn it or "pay off" some of the debt so that we can have ownership in some areas. I paid for some of this house, I can put whatever I want in this corner. I am paying for this, so I can make my own rules. It's mine, I can do what I want. But that's not how it works. It is ALL God's work, nothing we did, will do, or can ever do will be able to add to that. He gave us that house of salvation, and we cannot pay Him back or earn it. It is a truly wonderful gift, but to except it, we can't have any ownership. It's all His. Which of course, is all it ever was in the first place.