For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
We live in a world built on reciprocity. If you invite us to dinner, then next time, we’ll invite you over. If you picked up the check last time, then I’ll pick up the check this time. If I do a favor for you, then I would expect you to return the favor some day. It just seems fair.
This thinking can cross over to our relationship with God. If we faithfully serve God, then God will bless us. If we have a major problem, then surely we must have messed up somewhere along the way. God must be punishing us. Then, life throws us a curveball: “It rains on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). Then, what do we think?
When it comes to God, we don’t want fairness. Justice says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), therefore “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Fairness is very simple: we sinned, so now we pay.
We don’t want God’s fairness. We want God’s grace. Grace says “we don’t deserve this, but God loves us so much that He paid the price.” God chose to do something very unfair: He put the punishment of our sins on His Son and gives eternal life to all of us who believe.
Life isn’t fair. Salvation isn’t fair. But, life with God is certainly to our advantage.