The phrase “people are not bargaining chips” has been used by various UK politicians this week. The reference is to the continuing debate about the effect of Brexit.
In religious circles, some see salvation as a kind of bargaining proposal. If we do whatever we’re supposed to do, then God will save us. What we’re supposed to do could involve rituals, laws, good deeds and patterns of worship. The emphasis is that, if we do the right thing, then this would trigger salvation. Therefore, it’s more about what we do than it is about what God does.
Biblically speaking, this transactional approach to salvation could not be further from the truth. Salvation is not a reward because we’ve been good. Rather it’s about grace. Jesus saves us on the cross, not in response to our actions or thoughts or beliefs, but because God loved us first. This love is not conditional on us in any way. It’s not part of some deal that we make with God.
God loves you and saves you in Jesus.
Don’t try to bargain with him.
Just accept his gracious salvation.
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