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  • David

    May 4, 2021 at 6:07 am

    I have lived through the “merit badge” phase of my life. I don’t see anything wrong with recognizing hard work and accomplishments as long as you give give credit where credit is due. I think God expects us to do our best, but the source of our natural abilities is our creator. “Spiritual merit badges” are the same in my view. By God’s Grace each one of us is given spiritual gifts and a measure of faith (Romans 12:3-8) in order to function in the Body of Christ, but no one part is more important than the others.

    Where we get in trouble is when we don’t realize that it is all a matter of God’s Grace. Our salvation and our sanctification is by Grace (God’s Riches at Christ Expense) alone. It is not something to be grasped nor is it justification for thinking more highly of ourselves than we should. We have to have the same attitude that was in Christ (Philippians 2:5-8) and that Paul is demonstrating here in Today’s Text.

    This does not come natural. We have to consciously choose to have this attitude. For example, when I stated above, “that our salvation and sanctification is by Grace,” my flesh wanted to add, “as I pointed out yesterday.” My motivation for that was to show you my spiritual merit badge of knowledge and understanding, but the Spirit prompted me to not point that out because it does not matter. I had to humble and empty myself of any credit for that insight and delete that part of the sentence. The only thing that matters is being found in Christ, everything else is rubbish.