What’s the combination that opens God’s safe?

There’s that moment of hesitation and then triumph when a safecracker gets the combination right and the safe door swings open to reveal the contents. When it comes to cracking God’s safe, however, there is so much disappointment. People try all kinds of combinations, think they’ve got the right one and give a tug on the handle – but the door doesn’t open.

The prize inside the safe is peace with God, peace that comes from knowing we’re just fine in his book and eternal life is ours. What greater prize could there be? But what’s the right sequence of numbers that clicks the lock open? And who knows the combination for certain, too? Religion, of course, jumps in at this point yelling, “We know, we know, we’ve got the combination,” but the numbers offered by each religion are different. No two religions offer the same combination.

None of their numbers would work anyway, because they all involve something that we must do. God, meanwhile, gave us the combination of numbers years ago to a man called Abraham, and it doesn’t involve anything that we must do: “If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about – but not before God,” Romans 4:2. If Abraham thought he could open the safe by doing all kinds of good works, or good deeds, he too would have been sadly disappointed when he pulled on the safe door. It wouldn’t have opened, because it wasn’t his righteousness that hit the right combination, it was faith (verse 3).

It had to be faith, though, because God made absolutely sure Abraham couldn’t produce the works necessary to open the door. Look what God did to the man. He promises Abraham he’s going to make him and his offspring heirs of the world, when Abraham has no heirs – and no way of producing one, either. There is nothing Abraham can do, therefore, to get the prize God is offering him. But that’s exactly how God wanted it to be, “so that it may be by grace,” verse 16that the door to his safe swings open.  

It isn’t by our works that the safe door swings open, it’s by faith in his grace, Romans 5:1. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God.” Cracking God’s safe isn’t complicated. Peace with him doesn’t involve a difficult combination lock full of rules, rituals and religious duties. All it needs is faith in God’s grace. That’s when the doors to God swing open. But the shocking thing about this grace is that we already had it before we even tried the lock….    

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