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 Titanic, the largest and most luxurious ship of its time, was a shipbuilder’s dream. The ship was designed with a double hull, which included sixteen watertight compartments. Because of this unique design, the Titanic’s builder deemed the ship to be unsinkable. In fact, he made the following prideful statement, “not even God could sink this ship.”
We all know the story, about midnight on April 14th, 1912, the great ship with 2,224 passengers on board, slammed into a huge iceberg at a speed of twenty-two knots and some 180 minutes later found its way to the floor of the Atlantic. The unthinkable had happened — the unsinkable had sunk. While the builders of the Titanic had good reason to admire their design and craftsmanship, they had no grounds for boasting. While the Titanic was indeed majestic, it was certainly not wise to challenge God’s capabilities in their arrogant claims.
So it is with humans. There is a certain majesty about man, the pinnacle of God’s creation, a uniqueness which is undeniable, when compared to the rest of creation. We as humans recognize the fact and there is absolutely no reason for us to not rejoice. However, when we begin to boast about abilities we do not possess and take credit for things God has done, we begin to find ourselves in trouble. Just like the Titanic, we are far from unsinkable.
When we realize just how incredible God is and how holy His standards are, we begin to take on water and sink under the weight of His righteousness. There is no amount of effort we can put forth to bail us out. Regardless of our claims of superiority, invincibility and belief in our own abilities, we cannot work our way from the dilemma.
This is where God’s grace comes in. God is willing to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Salvation does not come through man’s efforts but instead through God’s provision. This is the point Paul is trying to explain to those in the church at Ephesus in the verses above.
For most it is difficult to admit we cannot do all we need to do on our own. Proud statements flow way too easily from our lips as we puff out our chest to the world, when we should actually be seeking God’s grace and favor.
Going back to the tragedy of the Titanic, there was a ship within twenty miles of the collision with the iceberg. However, the radio operator on the nearby ship was not listening so the calls for help were never heard.
ARE YOU SINKING? Thankfully God is always listening and never misses our cries for help!