The Bible is clear about the topic. The Word of God makes no apolgies for proclaiming that it is the ONLY way we can receive salvation.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
We have all read this verse before. We have all heard a lot about grace...but seriously?? It's that easy? I know I struggle with not trying to insert more of myself into this equation. We all think there is someting we should have to do to earn this love and salvation...and God certainly desires nothing less than our everything...but his love is not at all dependent on our "earning it". We can't make ourselves "good enough" to stand in his presence.
My high school girls' small group read Ephesians for our meeting last week and I was preparing to lead them in this I was reflecting on how I could explain this kind of unconditional love when I, myself, cannot understand it most of the time.
If I had a penny for each lesson I have learned from Roman I would be a rich woman. My son is only 13 months old, but God has revealed so much to me through him in his short lifetime. I always tell people that giving birth is the most painful, crazy, amazing and thrilling experience you could imagine. There is nothing like it. The love that you have for your child at birth is so immediate and SO intense. I loved him when I was pregnant...I didn't think I could love him any more...and then I saw him for the first time.
Having a child and getting to know that individual person is like falling in love with your husband all over again...except kind of in reverse order. When I met Joe, I was very excited to get to know him because he seemed like a great guy. We developed a friendship, we dated, we fell in love, we got engaged, we got married, and our love continues to mature. Having a child though is falling in love and then getting to know this new little person.
There is no reason that we should see a new born baby and be totally taken with them. They are usually screaming and haven't been cleaned off yet...that's a whole other topic. :) But, honestly, the fact that I would have died for him in that moment is still overwhelming to me. When I see my child, I understand a fraction of grace. I will be the last person to ever claim to fully grasp the concept. BUT, I understand that there is nothing that Roman could do or not do that would change my love for him. He is so precious to me. I am not always happy with the way he acts. I am not always feeling up to the task of dealing with a teething baby in the middle of the night. My love for him is not always perfect. God's love is.
So, the love that I have for Roman (with my imperfect love) cannot even be compared to the way that God loves us. But, of course, he reveals these little pieces of his love for us in the smallest of packages...a baby boy to love.