I was listening to a preacher on the radio this week who was extolling the virtues of doing the many good works we as Christians are called to perform. I had no problem with his message up to that point, but then just as a brief side note, he commented that these works are how we gain God’s favor. Really? I thought I already had God’s favor.
Unfortunately, many Christians are unaware of how much God is already on their side so to speak. They think they must do something to gain (and/or keep) His favor, His willingness to act on their behalf. They sometimes even go so far as to play “Let’s Make a Deal” with the Creator of the universe. They tell God that if He will do such and such for them, then they will do this or that or will never again do whatever. Where does such thinking come from?
Our Heavenly Father’s love for us is not a passing fancy that He might or might not extend toward us on any given day depending on the fluctuating approval rating we have with Him.
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I have been married to the same wonderful lady for 36 years. I love her very much, but as a mere human, I am simply not capable of loving as much as our Heavenly Father loves us. Even so, my wife has never had to make a deal with me to get me to be willing to provide for her needs. (Incidentally, I have also never thrown some horrible circumstance in her path just to teach her a lesson. Our God doesn’t do that either.)
Ephesians tells us God has made us accepted and given us redemption and forgiveness of sins.
Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
“Grace” in verse 7 is translated from the noun, “charis.” “Hath made…accepted” in verse 6 is translated from the verb form, “charitoo.” God “graced” us. One of the definitions of this word is, “to compass with favor.” God surrounded us with His favor in the beloved one, Jesus Christ our Lord. No work of ours is going to curry God’s favor more than that. Good works are good, but they are not what gain for us God’s favor. We received that when we confessed the Lord Jesus and believed God raised him from the dead as according to Romans 10:9 & 10.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
So there you have it. How does one gain God’s favor? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have not done this, then you do not have God’s favor, and there is no work you can do or promise you can make that will gain it for you. If you have belived on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are already in His “good graces.” There is nothing you can do to become any more so, and nothing else is needed. You already have His good will.