“For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”
In this short sentence lies our only hope for Heaven. It is the concept of faith-based salvation rather than works-based salvation. Works-based salvation would mean that you have to perfectly fulfill all the laws of the Old Testament in a way that was righteous and pleasing to
God in order to achieve salvation. As you might guess, it’s pretty much impossible. In fact, only one human being has ever done it…Jesus. That’s an important point. Jesus did it because in order to take our punishment for failing to uphold the law, he must have upheld it perfectly. Otherwise, he would be in no position to pay our debts, seeing as he would’ve had his own to worry about. But he did it. He lived perfectly in all righteousness. Because of that, we have the blessing of faith-based salvation. That means that it’s not our actions that earn us salvation, it’s our faith in Jesus. In short, there’s no amount of good things in this life that you can do to earn perfect righteousness, holiness, and perfection, because we are sinners. Luckily, that also means that there is no amount of failure that Jesus can’t save you from. All that is required of us is faith.
Surely you’re familiar with John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” It doesn’t say “so that whoever behaves the best should have eternal life.” It says, “whoever believes in him.”
It is our faith that saves us, not our works. God knows we’re not perfect. He knows that we’re sinners. He loves us and wants us to be with him in heaven, but sin cannot exist in his presence. That’s why Christ died for us. He paid for our sins, put them to death, wiped them clean. Now we are able to enter the presence of God for eternity through Jesus.
So throw away the checklist, and lose the notion of being a “good enough” person. Believe in Jesus, repent and follow him not because you have to follow the rules to be saved but because you love him and you already are saved!
I thank you that I’m not in control of my own salvation. Thank you for not leaving it up to me to be perfect. I’m a sinner, and I need a savior. Thank you for sending Jesus to save me. I believe in his sacrifice and I pray that you’d help me always to follow his footsteps.
In Jesus’ Name,