When I was a water safety instructor, I trained lifeguards. I considered myself a lifeguard first, a Water Safety Instructor second. I saved people’s lives, people who were drowning or going under.
That’s kind of what sin does. It causes us to drown. It takes us under. We’ve all been infected and affected by our sins, and the sins of others that have affected us. But the good news of God’s grace is that it is in the saving business.
When I was saving someone or training lifeguards to save someone, it meant understanding that a drowning person was not in a position where they could save themselves. No matter how hard they tried, they were not able to swim back to shore or the side of the pool. Another lifeguard had to dive in and to deliver them from that which was about to destroy them.
That’s the good news of grace. It reaches us when we’re drowning, when we’re drowning in the consequences of sin, and when we’re separated from the life of a Holy God. God in Jesus Christ, dives in, sacrifices Himself on the Cross, in order to save us from drowning and being destroyed by the devastating consequences of sin.
So, when you think about being saved by grace, think about a lifeguard saving a drowning person, where you trust Jesus Christ as your personal sin-bearer. He does it apart from your “good works”—because you can’t earn it. If you could earn it, you could swim to shore yourself. But because we can’t earn it, and God provided it, you have to do what the person did that I was seeking to save from drowning. They had to give up trying to save themselves and relinquish themselves to me, to be their savior.