You have done something, possibly something great for God, and you think he owes you something for it.
I cannot think of a single thing, no matter how great, that would leave God owing you (or me) anything except eternal damnation.
Fortunately God is gracious and doesn’t give us what we are owed, but instead gives us a totally undeserved eternal life with him.
It’s pretty subtle, but we like to think we have done something for God. Maybe we did, but so what? We are supposed to do things for God.
He created us. He owns us. That’s our purpose.
This is like asking your boss at work for a bonus because you came to work yesterday. Pretty sure you wouldn’t get one!
And in fact, if you’re a Christian, then it is actually God himself, working through his Holy Spirit who really does anything good you think you may have done yourself.
Isaiah says our most righteous acts are like filthy rags to God.
Seriously, this one is simple. God does not owe you anything. Period.
It’s like your salvation.
There is nothing you can do to earn your own salvation. Doesn’t matter if you are the nicest person in the last 100 years. Doesn’t matter if you’re the biggest crook in the last 1000 years.
You cannot earn your salvation. Period.
Salvation is 100% about what Jesus did, and 0% about what you do.
God gives it to you as a gift. It is a gift he, himself paid very dearly for. It’s a gift that his son Jesus paid the highest ransom in the history of the world to obtain.
And they give it to you, their enemy, for free. Awesome.
You have done nothing to merit the gift except that you exist. God created you. God loves you. God wants you to be saved, so he bought salvation for you as a gift.
Btw: that also means that there is nothing you can do to lose it. It’s a gift, it’s not based on anything you did or didn’t do, or anything you do or don’t do. Gift. Free. Underserved. Unlosable.
(Even if you do something really bad, it’s still 100% about what Jesus did and 0% about what you do, so its still OK. Jesus still did what he did. You can’t change that. Whew)
Paul had to write to the Galatians about this too. They recognised that they were unable to earn their salvation and that it was a gift from God.
But they somehow thought that now they were Christians they needed to start doing good works (obeying the Law) to earn it.
You cannot earn a gift. By definition, if you earn it, its wages, it’s not a gift. By definition, if it’s a gift, you can’t earn it.
You could not earn God’s favour before you became a Christian. Same now. You still cannot earn God’s favour.
No matter what you do. No matter how great you think it is. No matter how big a ministry you think you have. God is no more in your debt than when you were a lost sinner rebelling against him.
And, thankfully for the rest of us, no matter how far we think we have fallen, God still loves us and our salvation is still secure. Because it is not based on what we do, but on what Jesus did.