Speaking of Life

Knock Yourself Out

Some of us make the Christian life far harder than it needs to be. We knock ourselves out instead of trusting God.

(2.8 minutes)
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Joseph Tkach

Joseph Tkach has been president of Grace Communion International since 1995. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Azusa Pacific University. For more information about him, click here.

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I read an interesting story about a boxer in the 1930s named C.D. “Bigboy” Blalock. Bigboy once took a fight against a boxer from Mississippi whose name has long since been forgotten. In fact, it seems the only reason Bigboy’s name is remembered is because of what happened in that one fight.

Now Bigboy was a powerful man with a devastating roundhouse punch. He decided to try his big haymaker against the boxer from Mississippi, but at that very moment his opponent stepped in close.

The crook of Bigboy’s elbow caught the man’s head causing Bigboy’s massive fist to arc around squarely into his own jaw.

Bigboy went down for the count – the only boxer we know of who literally knocked himself out.

Like Bigboy and his big roundhouse punch, some of us make the Christian life far harder than it needs to be. We knock ourselves out instead of trusting God to be our all in all.

We are God's beloved children because Jesus saves sinners—not because we are good at landing powerful punches against sin.

We can stop worrying about whether we will "make it." We already have—not because we fought sin long and hard, but because Jesus is our righteousness. In Jesus, and in Jesus alone, God and humanity are one—reconciled. We are sinless only because we stand in Christ, not because of some spiritual right hook we might think we have.

God does not save righteous people. He only saves sinners who trust him. That is the only way you can be counted among the saved: by facing the truth that you are a sinner–no better than any sinner, and then trusting God to save you.

Romans 5:8 tells us: “…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

You cannot be saved by being good. You cannot be saved by avoiding bad. You cannot be saved by being more good than bad. There’s no need to knock yourself out – it won’t save you.

You cannot be saved by anything you do at all. You are saved only one way, by God's grace. The only way you can enter into and enjoy that salvation is by taking God at his word, that is, by believing the good news.

I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.

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