Monday Morning Musings (May 17th, 2021)

Monday Morning Musings is a hodgepodge of contemplations as I begin a new week. Check in every Monday morning to receive a myriad of thoughts from my vapid brain. 

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Grace Alone

I was reminded in a fresh way that God’s grace and mercy are enough to rescue my soul. For the first half of my life, I believed I could go to heaven based on my good works. And then there is the Bible. The Bible is clear about the means of salvation. It’s by grace alone through faith alone. A person cannot provide .00000001% of their effort, or else they can boast about their “salvation.” Why didn’t I hear about this verse growing up in the Catholic Church?

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Ephesians 2:8–9

The proponents of a works-based faith can explain this away. I know. But I am with the 4th-century theologian John Chrysostom. He said this about Ephesians 2:8-9

Do not rely on your own efforts but on the grace of Christ. “You are,” says the apostle, “saved by grace.” Therefore it is not a matter of arrogance here but faith when we celebrate: We are accepted! This is not pride but devotion. – John Chrysostom

Take it from me, John Chrysostom, or the Bible. Striving to earn salvation does not work. Grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone works. The result of receiving faith from God is a humble heart.

The Chosen

I have longed to watch quality Christian content. For years I have diverted my eyes like watching an awkward scene by Michael Scott on The Office. The bottom line is most Christian content on TV is cringeworthy. But every now and then, something decent appears. And The Chosen makes the cut, and I hope it’s a trend and not a mirage. The Chosen is a VidAngel Studios production. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, The Chosen was initially released in December of 2017. It’s picked up steam in the last year. I have seen multiple advertisements, and like all the previous Christian advertisements, I moved on with my day. 

But The Chosen is different. Another pastor told me that this TV series is worth the time and invite the entire family to watch it. I am still on season 1, episide 5. But I have seen enough. The Chosen portrays the life of Jesus in the gospels. The characters seem to fit the picture we have of them in our minds, especially Simon Peter. Yes, there is a lot of gaps to fill. But if you know the gospels, you can sense the directors tried to remain faithful to the overall storyline of The Scriptures. Pop the popcorn, grab family and friends, and fire up the TV. I think it’s worth your time.