Romans 8:13 AMP
For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.
Jesus is not a “Get out of Hell Free card” that we unlock as an achievement by praying the magically right words.
Salvation isn’t a free gift. At least not in the sense of its value. It was a costly gift, bought for us with blood and pain and suffering by Jesus Christ on the cross.
Yes, it is free for us to accept. But we accept this Grace with our hearts, not with empty words. And even our accepting Christ is done because He draws us to Him as His own.
Romans 9:16-18 AMP
So then [God’s gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God’s mercy. [It depends not on one’s own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God’s having mercy on him.] For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have raised you up for this very purpose of displaying My power in [dealing with] you, so that My name may be proclaimed the whole world over. So then He has mercy on whomever He wills (chooses) and He hardens (makes stubborn and unyielding the heart of) whomever He wills.
So those that are not His do not obtain salvation through their own striving to obtain it. Nor do they earn it by choosing to be His through their own will. He chooses. He elects. He decides. And it is all for His glory and honor. Not my own.
Yes, it really is more about God and less about us.
It really is more about His glory and less about our reward.
And shouldn’t it be since He is God and we are mere men. Even as servants and sons, the student is not greater than the teacher, nor is the servant above the master.
Once we realize God’s true place of honor, once we understand His deserving honor and glory and praise – it changes our perspective to the reverent fear and respect that God deserves. And that is where we can find wisdom and guidance and understanding – once God is high and lifted up in our lives.
Yes, He becomes greater, and I become less.