There are no grace graduates. You never, never, never, never, outgrow your need for the grace of God. The Christian life is not about self-improvement. The Christian life is not about life betterment, so we can say after walking with Jesus, “I’m not there yet, but I’m close!”
As a matter of fact, the opposite is true. The longer I walk with Jesus, the more I am confronted by my sordid, dark, sinfulness. I begin to understand I am not only saved by grace, but sustained by grace. By God’s grace, I begin to pursue Jesus hard! Jesus becomes the great treasure of my heart and the joy and delight of my life.
I don’t stick out my chest and say, “look at me, and how good I have become.” The truth is, my mission statement becomes, “may He increase as I decrease.” The point is not look how good I am, but look how good, majestic, and beautiful Jesus is!
The first step to a gospel-awakened heart is brokenness over your sin. The longer I walk with Jesus, the more I am confronted with my personal sinfulness. The natural result is a recognition for my desperate need for grace.
If the Christian life is all about getter better and self-improvement, that will lead to self-righteousness. The person who views Christianity as self-improvement talks more about themselves and what they do, than Jesus and what he already did.
This was the central problem of the Pharisee. Luke 18 says, “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee standing by himself prayed thus: ‘God I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But, the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’
Christian growth is growth into grace which provides empowerment to pursue Jesus as the great gift of God. The longer we walk with Jesus, the more we keenly recognize our need for his grace. The first step and really every step to a gospel-awakened heart is brokenness over your sin which leads you to drink deeply from the fountain of grace!
John 7:37-38, “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water,’”