Home > Uncategorized > By Grace through Faith, not of works…

By Grace through Faith, not of works…

A concept I have trouble with sometimes is that our salvation is not from works.  Oh, I get the idea.  We are saved by grace through faith not works.  Eternal life is the gift of God.  But, what of the commandments.  Doesn’t God expect me to be holy?  Isn’t that works?  If God rejects me for a lack of holiness doesn’t that mean I am saved by works?

Peter talked about it in  I Peter 1:16, quoting from Leviticus.  “Be ye holy for I am holy.”

God demands righteousness from us in order to enter heaven.  Not just compared to others, compared to himself.  Mother Teresa herself couldn’t enter Heaven based on her own righteousness.  She could not have stood in God’s presence during her life and lived through it.  The Apostle Paul would have been destroyed by facing God in his own righteousness.

Romans 3:9 says “There is no one righteous, not even one.”

Paul is saying that though there is value in being a Jew, even being a Jew doesn’t make you righteous.  The Law came through the Jews.  The Savior came through the Jews.  God treasured the Jews but He used them to show the world that we can’t possibly be good enough for him.  The law was simply to make us “Conscious of our sin.” (Rom 3:21)

If the Law wasn’t given to make us righteous but to let us know that we aren’t righteous, how can we be righteous enough? Ah!  That is a fantastic question.

Paul answers it in Romans 3:21 through the end of the chapter.

God made his righteousness known outside the Law by showing us through Jesus Christ how it can be lived.  However, ONLY Jesus was capable of doing so.  Romans 3:23 says “For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  Very clearly every one  of us is guilty of sin.  No one deserves to go to Heaven.

We know that there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22).  Therefore Jesus, the only one not deserving death and destruction, was sacrificed in our place.  His blood met the price demanding ours.  God did not punish the sins that went before the sacrifice of his Son as they deserved because his Son would die for them.

This sameness, resulting from all mankind being fallen and unworthy, and all of man’s sins being forgiven means that no one has the right to boast about his spiritual heritage.  The Law, not meant to save us, is not worthless.  Jesus did not set the Law aside.  He fulfilled the Law.  He showed all of  us Righteousness.  Because of Him, we now are justified (made just) through faith, not the works of the letter of the Law.

On this Thanksgiving Day here in the USA, I thank God for His Son.  I thank Him for His forgiveness.  Most of all I thank Him for giving me a way, in my unrighteousness, to be able to put on His righteousness and be able to one day see Him face to face.

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