I can’t be a Christian without Christ. An elementary thought, perhaps, but an important one. Also one that tends to slip away from my grasp.
Whenever I fail and beat myself up and take to thinking that I am beyond grace, that even God cannot save me because it is up to me to make the choice, I’m missing the whole point of grace. Yes, I make a choice. But if my making of that choice is done on my own strength, it is powerless to effect real change. Only the Holy Spirit can make that choice meaningful, because I am not choosing a life of adherence to a set of abstract principles. I am choosing a life in relationship with God. A life chained to the only One who can make something of it.
It is not my choice that makes the difference, though it is a necessary part of it. It is His power.
To place too much significance on the element of choice is to miss and to deny the gravity of God’s grace and power. I do not come into the riches He offers by choice alone. I come only by grace.
My choice alone earns me nothing. But through His power, I gain everything.