“A Life Of Gratitude” (Romans 9: 16, ESV) by Carley Evans


Our salvation depends not on our will or our exertion, but on God’s willingness to be merciful. If God is not willing to provide us with His mercy, then we are already condemned by our sinful nature, which we recognize as “the fall.”

Without God’s powerful calling, we do not respond to Christ’s sacrifice; rather we run in the opposite direction.

God, the Holy Spirit draws us to Himself. He empowers us with ability to see our sins and to know we need Jesus’ sacrificial death and powerful resurrection so that we might live new lives in God’s grace.

John writes that we “are born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1: 13)

And the author of Hebrews reminds us that “without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11: 6)

From whence comes the faith which is required to please God? This faith is a gift which does not come from our parents, nor our friends, nor certainly from our adversary; rather our faith is a gift from God Himself. He gives us this precious faith to believe Him, to know that He exists and to
choose to follow Him.

For our part, we live in gratitude.

“The Promise Rests On The Gift of Faith” (John 3: 17, ESV) by Carley Evans


“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”

God’s intention is not to condemn the world, but to save it. God saves the world not through adherence to the law but through faith in His Son.

“For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring.” (Romans 4: 13 – 16)

God’s promise to save the world is guaranteed by grace and depends on faith in His Son. While wrath comes through the law; righteousness comes through faith.

“If a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” (Galatians 3: 21 – 22)

How are we to believe? We believe in Jesus Christ by the power of God in the gospel.

“The gospel…is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’ (Romans 1: 16 – 17)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2: 8)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3: 16)

“The Gift Of God” (Ephesians 2: 8 – 9, NIV) by Carley Evans


What is clearer than Paul’s extraordinary statement of truth — that “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.”

That faith itself is a gift of God is clear — yet is also one of the stumbling blocks of the Christian walk. The concept that God gives us our faith in His Son causes great consternation. How is it that God gives us this gift? Why does He give it to some, but not to others? How is this fair? Paul asks and answers these questions in his letters to the Romans.

“No one can boast.”

This is ultimately the truth we should find in the Word of God. No one is able to stand in the presence of God unless God Himself has willed it. Job’s friends try to discover Job’s secret sin, the cause of all his suffering. Job continues to protest that he is righteous and has done no wrong. In the end, God challenges Job to explain the universe and to recognize that God has every right to do with His creation whatever He wishes.

God is the potter; we are the clay.

“No one can boast.”

In the end, Job repents in dust and ashes.

Paul adds, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2: 10)

Not only has God created us, given us faith in His Son; but He has also created the good works we are to do while we are alive on this earth. God has a plan, like any exceptional craftsman. He knows His work; He has an end result in His creative mind.