6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
What does this verse tell you? It tells you that works or self-effort and grace are incompatible. When two things are incompatible, they are so opposed in character that they are incapable of existing together. If it is grace then it is not self-effort; if it is self-effort then it is not grace. In effect, one nullifies the other. I would rather stand in the grace of God and not base my successes on whatever abilities I may have.
Let me use myself as an example. I have an analytical mind by virtue of what I studied (Electronics Engineering) and the kind of interests I had in school. If I began to teach the Word of God purely depending on my mathematical or analytical, engineering mind, by now I would probably be teaching heresy. That’s how a lot of people who are called to teach and preach God’s Word end up in heresy.
Someone says, “Well, didn’t God know you had an analytical mind when He gave His grace to you?” Sure, He probably thought there was an advantage that it could be used for in my ministry, but it was not because of an analytical mind or a mathematical mind that God gave me the grace to preach or to teach His Word. I have to be conscious of the grace and the ability of God given to me to preach or to teach His Word.
Before the foundation of the world, God decided to make His grace available to me. I was not there to influence Him when He made a decision to bless me with His grace. He wanted me to excel in what it was He called me to do, so He empowered me with His grace. The “highest achievement” of my self-effort would not be up to the “lowest impact” His grace in me could make. That is the beauty of the grace of God. It is supernatural.
Confession: I have received the grace of God. I totally depend upon His grace to be who He has called me to be. I place no reliance on self-effort.