“I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.” Galatians 2:21
Although I’ve played cards before, in particular Spades back in my Marine Corps days, I’ve never played Poker. I have no real concept of the game, but I’ve always thought it was cool when in a movie, particularly a western, one player slides all of his chips to the center of the table and says, “All in!” I’ve always waited with anticipation to see just what would happen next. Would he walk away a big winner, or would the poker game erupt into a gunfight?
Just the words “all in” sound cool to me. With it comes the notion that I’m putting all I have on the line. Everything, all my winnings up until that point, I’m putting at risk for the possibility of a greater reward. I guess that’s why it’s called gambling, because no one knows the outcome until all hands are laid out on the table, and for the “all in” person that can mean a total haul, or total loss.
The early Church, and even its leaders, struggled with the concept of being “all in” when it came to the Good News. Yes, they knew down deep that it was “Jesus, plus nothing and minus nothing.” But when it came down to what that looked like in living their daily lives, the struggle was real.
Paul challenged them all, and especially Peter, with the concept of being completely “all in” when it came to the Gospel. He wasn’t about to let anyone pollute the Good News by adding even just a little bit of “law following” to it. He made it clear to them, and it’s still clear to us today, that the only way to live this Christian life is by putting our complete and total trust in the finished work of Jesus for the forgiveness of all of our sins and in our position of righteousness and acceptance before the Father.
Today, we can experience the rest that only the Good News can bring knowing there’s no gamble or risk when it comes to being “all in.”