We like common sense. It tells us that if we do A,B&C, then we get X,Y&Z as a result. Like, for Christians, if we do the 10 commandments, or, for Moslems, if we obey the Koran, or for 21st century Australians, if we do what society thinks successful, then we will get rewarded (i.e., get good things form God, or from life).

The reason we like this common sense is because it makes us feel in control of life and its outcomes, and that makes us feel secure, and we hope that will bring us the good life and happiness. The problem is that this leads us either into despair when we fail, or arrogant pride when we think we succeed.

Yet the Bible tells us that Christian truth – the Gospel – is a “mystery” (Ephesians 3:1-13), not common sense – in fact it’s kind of the opposite to common sense. The Gospel tells us that we, and all people have failed catastrophically to do the right thing and make a success of ourselves, but by faith in Jesus Christ we are declared just, forgiven and rewarded by His grace (Romans 3:21-26).

This Gospel makes no sense at all to common sense – it’s “mystified” by it! And since we are all born with common sense, we shouldn’t be surprised if we get confused by the Gospel at times. But God gives us the faith to believe it and the ability to understand it by the power of the Holy Spirit – just ask Him.

Being justified by grace liberates us from the despair or pride of having to make ourselves successful, and inspires and enables us to love and serve God and others with joy.

Grace upon grace, Jonathan.