The dog woke me up in the middle of the night, and I discovered an intruder in our house. No, it wasn’t a burglar, although I was robbed of some sleep. The “intruder” was icy cold air coming from the front room of the house.
Upon closer inspection, I found the wind had blown our front door wide open. Our high efficiency furnace was no match for the polar vortex filling our home. I made sure the door was shut securely and shivered my way back to bed.
Later my wife asked why the door wasn’t closed tight in the first place, and it turns out it was my fault. On a previous winter day, I felt a slight draft coming in around the door, so I put some of that sticky-backed weather stripping around the door jam. But a gust of wind revealed that little 1/4” foam had actually kept the door from latching shut.
We had a good laugh when I told her, “I put that insulation around the door to keep the cold air out, not let it in!” My good intentions totally backfired.
We cause this same problem in our lives when we try to mix law with grace. The Bible says we are spiritually “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). Through faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior we are “saved” and “made alive” (Ephesians 2:5). And this is all by God’s grace. It’s a free gift that we receive, “not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:9).
Trying to add our own works to earn God’s favor actually backfires, because we are only saved by trusting in His grace alone. Like Noah in the ark, come into God’s salvation and let Him shut the door (Genesis 7:16).