This week we will take a break from our series on Christian relationships, and revisit my first article published in the BCN about six years ago. We will continue next week with our current series.
There seems to be a common belief among Christians and non-Christians alike that if you are “basically” good, then you will be received into Heaven. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Even if you’re “very good” by man’s standard, you are still not good enough. Jesus said in Mark 10:18 that there is no one good except God, and Romans 3:10 says there is none righteous, no, not one
You see, people who believe in their own goodness live by a relative (not absolute) standard, instead of God’s standard Yes, you may be good compared to me, but what about compared to God? I mean really, who wants to be the best sinner that goes to Hell?
2 Corinthians 10:12 tells us when we compare ourselves amongst ourselves, we are not wise. You can always find someone a little worse than you. But what happens when we compare ourselves to God? We fall desperately short. James 2:10 says that if you keep the whole law, yet offend in one point, you are guilty of breaking all of it. We can see the same principle in society. If the police pulled you over for doing 90mph through town, and you argued that you have kept all the other laws in town, it wouldn‘t change the fact that you broke that one, and you are therefore guilty.
“Well nobody’s perfect” one might say. Exactly my point! No one is perfect, yet God demands perfection if you want to enter into everlasting life. Jesus told us to be perfect even as our Father in Heaven is perfect. Does that sound like an impossible standard to you? Well it is! “Then who can be saved!?” you ask. Jesus said with man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. God made it possible for us to enter Heaven by simply receiving the gift of salvation through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ You are not, nor will you ever be, good enough on your own. You cannot earn it You cannot work for it. It will never be wages that you deserve. It is only a gift available to all those who will humble themselves, admit they are sinners, reach out by faith, and take it The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23)
Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but by His mercy He saved us (Titus 3:5) Did you catch that? Not even by your righteous works are you saved. Righteous works are great, but they are only fruit, and not the root of salvation. You can fast, pray, read the Bible, and go to church all you want, and it will not save you, although those are scriptural things to do. For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9) There will be no boasting about how good you were when you stand before your Creator The only thing we should have to say is Jesus! (Oh, and all that self righteous boasting you do here on earth? That pat on the back by man is all the reward you’re going to get Mt 6:1-2)
Don’t get trapped in the works rut! Now, I didn’t say you shouldn’t do good works, for faith without works (corresponding actions) is dead But don’t think your righteousness has anything to do with your works, for the scripture says by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified (Gal 2:16, Rom 3:20), and that if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (Gal 2:21). I believe Paul said it best in Galatians 5:1: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty, wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Our righteousness is in Christ, and Christ alone (I Corinthians 1:30).
It’s been said that man does not reject the Bible because they find fault in it, but because it finds fault in them. I pray that all who may read this would humble themselves and allow God’s Word to find fault in them Don’t be prideful God said He would exalt the humble The Father loves and cherishes you so much In fact, He thinks your priceless How do I know? He bought you with the blood of Jesus His Son, and there is no value you can place on that. Until next time, rejoice in the Lord!