Here’s a thought that is sure to ruffle some feathers:
Being Good Ain’t Good Enough
There are some Christians who believe, if they live “holy” enough, God is sure to allow them to enter Heaven. Yet, according to this week’s lesson, the Apostle Paul says this is incorrect: it is not enough to be good enough. We are justified (or made right in God’s sight) only though the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross of Calvary.
Some are proud of their spiritual inheritance, their ability to conform to the doctrines of their church, and/or their personal knowledge of the Bible. They boast as the young ruler in Matthew 19: “All these things have I kept from my youth up.” Yet, there is one thing lacking: they have not completely trusted in Christ. This was, ultimately, the failure of the rich, young ruler: it was not that he loved money more than God, it was that he did not trust God. In spite of all that he had done, he had failed in this one area: entrusting himself wholly to the care of God. He had failed to understand, as Paul says in Galatians 2:16, “by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” If following the commandments were able to justify us, or make us “right” before God, Paul says “then Christ is dead in vain” (2:21).
So what is Paul saying? If we were able to “get right” with God on our own, then Jesus suffered in vain. If being good was enough, then Christ was beaten, mocked, and scourged in vain. If our keeping of the commandments were enough, then, Jesus was nailed to the cross in vain. If following church doctrines and church attendance were enough, then Jesus suffered, bled, and died in vain. If we could get into heaven on our own merit, then this video was made vain:
In conclusion, when we come to Christ and we believe upon Him, we are instantly made righteous in God’s sight. Any- and everything that we do after that is accomplished by the power of God working in and through us. We no longer live for ourselves, but we live for God: “nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” (Gal. 2:20).
- Justification By Faith Alone in Galatians 1-3 (garrettventry.wordpress.com)