The Value Of A Dirty Tampon

One summer day at the early age of 19, I was in the office at my first internship.  It was just before lunch and as the preaching minister was leaving we had a short discussion on how most people view grace.

He looked at a glass of water that was on my desk which was almost empty. “Most the-glass-of-waterpeople see grace like that glass of water.  It is not completely full.  Likewise my righteousness lacks a little.  SO do as much good as I can and whatever is needed God will fill the rest.”  He then, very briefly, discussed Romans chapter 3 and a few passages in chapter 4.  “We do not do anything to fill our righteous cup, God fills it completely.  Our salvation and forgiveness is ALL grace!”

This led me to dig into the scriptures and for that lunch hour and the rest of that day I did a verse by verse break down of Romans chapter 3 and 4 and Galatians chapter 3.  It shed new light on Ephesians 2:8.  It was as if a switch had been flipped and my world changed light years in one day.

I was inspired which caused me to share this with anyone who would listen.  It was not long before I was challenged.  One misguided minister overheard me speaking of this at a church camp and he was quick to “set me straight.”

“We have to do SOMETHING to be saved!”  he said.  “Look at Noah, he would not have been saved if he did not make the ark.  He would not have been saved if he had not made the ark just like God asked.  So, yes, God was gracious to Noah but Noah had to do something to get that grace.  The same is true today, we must do things to get God’s grace.”  (a more complete explanation of this can be found in the New Birth Essay Conclusion by clicking here)

I came across this same idea in the following article from the Niceville Church of Christ.  Below is an excerpt from their web site as well as a link to that article, which was active when this post was written.

In the salvation of man’s soul there are two necessary parts: God’s part and man’s part. God’s part is the big part, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift if God; not of works, that no man should glory” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The love which God felt for man led him to send Christ into the world to redeem man. The life and teaching of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the gospel to men constitute God’s part in salvation.

Though God’s part is the big part, man’s part is also necessary if man is to reach heaven. Man must comply with the conditions of pardon which the Lord has announced. Man’s part can clearly set forth in the following steps”  . . . Fr0m there it goes on to list the “Five Steps Of Salvation.”

( From Niceville Church of Christ web site: Link Click Here )

That summer day, while being challenged by that Church of Christ minister, I was confused.  His statement seemed to be true.  It seemed to make logical sense.  However, Ephesians 2 says that I was saved by Grace and not by any work of my own.  If I have to do something then it is a work.  I had no answer.  How could the Bible say something in one place and something different some where else.

Over the years, through Spirit’s teaching I have learned a great deal.  I have learned that my righteous act is like a dirty tampon (Is. 64:6).  That Hebrew phrase there for filthy rags is the same as used or dirty menstrual rags.  My righteousness is like a dirty tampon in God’s presence.

Pretty bad isn’t it?  There is NOTHING I can bring to God to make me righteous.  My acts of righteousness and my acts of faith are BECAUSE of God’s saving grace in me.  He changed me and also changed every saved believer (Ezekiel 36:25-27; Titus 3:4-6). He changes my heart and my actions to desire to be obedient.

To take credit for any part of salvation is nothing short of disgustingly irreverent to a Holy God.  The word picture Isaiah creates with the dirty tampon is done for a reason.  We do not have a PART in salvation.  To say otherwise is to proclaim that God owes me.

God will get all the glory for any saving work. It is His grace.  It is purely grace and it is always for His glory (Colossians 1:16).

Be Free


5 Replies to “The Value Of A Dirty Tampon”

  1. There is noting we can do to save ourselves, It is all of grace and nothing less. There is no work we can do to be saved. All we can do is “to believe on the ne God has sent-Jesus.” Even that belief is not of ourselves, it is a gift of God. It is total grace.

    1. 100% agreement – Grace upon grace upon grace. “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not of your own,” which means 1) salvation is a grace gift and 2) the faith required for salvation is a grace gift.

  2. Great post and website! Someone has said ‘religion is about what you have to do to go to heaven, but Christianity is about believing what God has already done for you so you can go to heaven.’ Salvation by faith alone means we are believing God’s promise that Jesus Christ saves us.

  3. All gifts come from God. Christ was given to us as a gift so that we may get closer to God. However faith is not a gift. You yourself have to believe that Jesus is the Christ Son of the Living God. You must then follow what the Apostle Peter said in Acts 2:38. That was from an Apostle who was left on Earth to tend the Sheep. Believeing isn’t enough, for the demons believed. So is God’s grace free? Yep, to those who follow the proper steps.

    1. I respectfully disagree with most of your comment. The one thing in which we find agreement is “All gifts come from God.” This is true. Christ was not given so we may “get closer to God.” Our closeness with God be it geographically or relationally was not Christ’s concern. Christ purpose and work is so vast one could read and write volumes. Primarily, Jesus came to exchange the unrighteousness for his righteousness for those who are saved. Ephesians 2:8=10 states that faith is a gift, it is not something we muster up on our own. Genesis 20:13 states that Abraham’s faith was caused by God. It is an absolute outrageous tragedy what the C of C has done to Acts 2:38. The use of James 2:19 in your comment is taken completely out of context, which is very common among those who defend C of C doctrine. James is speaking about a belief in creator God, not belief in the person and work of Christ. your last rhetorical question and answer is a contradiction. Suffice it to say there is nothing either of us can say to change each other’s mind. You can shoot passages to justify your position on any number of things. If your positions are consistent with the C of C, I will tell you flat out you are working with a flawed, misguided, false teaching that is atomistically based. So, in humility I will pray God grant us both the Holy Spirit to “understand the things that are spiritually discerned.”

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