A few articles ago I said that trust is the one thing required to be saved. You have to trust that God’s grace is enough.
The same thoughts about grace and trust are back in my mind again today. I cannot seem to shake it. Apparently, God is trying to get something through to me.
The Wrong Way to Righteousness
I often want to justify myself by being good and obeying the “rules”. Here’s what the Apostle Paul has to say about that:
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. Romans 3:20 NIV
The law or “the rules” that God sets forth declares us guilty because it shows that we all fall short of God’s standard of righteousness.
No matter how hard we try, we cannot be good enough. We cannot earn our salvation through good works.
So, does that mean we should stop trying? Here’s what Paul says:
Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Romans 6:1-2 NLT
Therefore, trying to be good isn’t the answer and giving up entirely is not the answer either.
Where does that leave us?
There Is Only One Thing Left To Do
As I said in my earlier article, the only thing left is trusting completely in God’s grace to justify and sanctify us.
I think God designed it this way. He doesn’t want us to have any other option. He wants us to learn to depend on Him entirely.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
No one gets the glory for saving me except Jesus. If being good was part of it, then I could claim some credit. But, as it is, I can’t.
He did it all. He washed away ALL my sin – past, present and future. He separated it from me as far as the east is from the west. In God’s eyes, I stand HERE and my sin is way over there because I’m covered by the blood of the lamb.
When I put my trust in anything but grace, I’m wrong and I’m insulting the cross. Look at what Paul told the churches in Galatia:
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Galatians 2:21 NIV
If I could earn my salvation, if I could be good enough on my own to be declared righteous, then Jesus endured the humiliation and torture of a Roman cross for nothing. He died for no reason.
That’s NOT the case. Jesus stood in my place. He died so I wouldn’t have to bear the penalty for my sin.
All I have to do is trust in the grace He provides. That’s all. It doesn’t make sense in human terms, but His ways are higher than ours.