But when the kindness and love of God or Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. Titus 3:4-5a
Read: Titus 3:4-7
Listen: Titus 3
Many who follow two of the Eastern religions, Buddhism and Hinduism, believe that the power to be redeemed lies within you alone. Different traditions teach different paths toward redemption, whether nirvana, moksha, or enlightenment. The key to each path is that you are responsible for your own destiny. Acts such as going to temple, offering sacrifices or giving alms to monks are ways of earning merit (sometimes called good karma) for the next reincarnation, rather than acts of love.
When we look at Titus 3, we see a very different picture. Watch this video clip as John Dickson describes that Christianity teaches salvation is a gift. It teaches we cannot earn our way to his grace through attending church, giving money, or living a good life. This is why Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. We could never earn our way—he paid our way himself. Plain and simple, Christianity is not about earning— it’s about receiving. We bring nothing to the table, and he brings everything.
As you consider the difference between beliefs in these Eastern traditions and Christianity, maybe something has become clearer for you. Perhaps you never understood that you bring nothing and that Jesus brings everything. His grace is a gift we could never earn. One of the significant differences between Christianity and other religions is that instead of us reaching out to God for salvation or merit, God reaches out to us.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
If today is the day you first understand grace is a gift you can’t earn, then receive that gift and accept his grace. There is no magic formula to receive this gift. Pray something like this, “God, I know I have sinned and can’t earn my way to your grace. I believe you died for me to pay my way, and I accept your gift of grace. Be Lord of my life. Amen.” If you did this for the first time or you have questions, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.