The Naughty and Nice List

Romans 4:4 “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 

Christmas brings back some really great memories for me from my childhood.  How about the lyrics to the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”?  We used to sing that song all the time, loved it.  But as I got older and really listened to the lyrics, I found it to be pretty harsh.  “He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”  Or how about this part, “you better not…you better not…you better not…and on and on”.  After all, you might end up on the “naughty list” and get absolutely nothing!  Or even worse, coal in your stocking!  Ho, ho, ho, Merrrrrrry Christmas!  NOT!  

Thank God is Christ, we don’t have to earn or deserve a thing that God has for us.  John 1:17 says that Jesus came by “grace and truth”.  Truth is on the side of grace, not the side of the law or performance or works.  Grace is undeserved favor, it’s something that cannot be earned in no uncertain terms!  

As Romans 4:4 says, “to him that worketh the reward is not reckoned of grace, but debt”.  To earn the reward is the opposite of grace.  The reward must be received unconditionally.  Romans 4:6 says, “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works”.  This is one of my favorite scriptures because it says that God charges “righteousness” to our account without any works or good deeds on our part.  

In Christ, there is “naughty” or the “nice” list.  What we receive from Him is not earned, it’s not deserved.  Under new covenant grace, there’s no “coal” for anyone at anytime, only grace.  As believers, we’re all on the “righteousness list”.  We all qualify for the “too good to be true” good news list.  We’ve been made righteous through the blood of Jesus and His finished work on the cross.  So no more lists, just grace.  Receive it.  Enjoy!  Merry Christmas!