Can man not achieve perfection through merit? I mean what is wrong with earning our way to God? What is wrong with receiving this graces based on merits? Yes only God knows what we are trully capable of. Is there a sin if we did not achieve(fulfil) our capability(did what we were really capable of doing) ? Is that the story of the guy with one talent in the parable of Jesus?
As I said above we must do our best to run the race, however we never as men can accomplish all we are capable of. Ask anyone in his later years if he could have done more and most will truthfully say yes. No one ever reaches his full potential. IMHO
Even someone as famously accomplished Einstein revealed he had regrets on his deathbed.
The guy with one talent was singled out for complete lack of trying at all. He simply buried his talent. This is not true for the majority, most people think themselves more talented than they really are , and do everything they can to utilize it(watch the preliminaries of tryouts on American Idol). The biggest mistake is most do not realize their real talents, or ignore the value as useless. they see no potential in it. It may have values they do not see ,or are blinded by societies values.
There is also the issue that Grace can overcome all. And as mere sinners we cannot begin to see it in others, let alone ourselves.
Take the Criminal next to christ, what did he do all his life, certainly not what he could have or he would not have been saying he deserved
being there. But yet he is the first one to be saved in the new Kingdom.
39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.d ”
43Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.
There is also the parable of the workers in the vineyard, where those who have done little are given the same as those who worked from the start. This is my best example of Grace from God as taught by Jesus.
<< Matthew 20 >>
New International Version
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them a denariusa for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7“ ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”