Most Christians understand that our salvation walk with Jesus differs radically from religion in that faith in Jesus is based on what Jesus did. Religion is based on what we do. Sadly, many Christians believe that because they are “basically pretty good” and “they have never done anything really bad” they deserve to go to Heaven. In other words, they believe that their works justify them. Here's 5 reasons why works simply won’t work.
We can thank the late D. James Kennedy – a wonderful man of God - for the following exposition of why “works don’t work”.
GOOD WORKS ARE ARBITRARY
If works were the standard, what would decide the standard of goodness? The golden rule? The 10 commandments? Would we just do our best? There would have to be a different yardstick for each and every person. How unfair would that be? Imagine if you and I went to the movies together, and they charged me $5, and they charged you $10. You would howl in protest and demand to know why you were charged more than me!
GOOD WORKS LACK ASSURANCE
Turning the argument around, we can see that good works lack assurance. Again, what’s the standard? What’s the yardstick? What’s the measure? To reiterate, you would literally have to have a different standard for just about everyone.
The Bible clearly states the requirements of the Salvation covenant so that we can know for a fact that we are saved. It leaves no doubt as to whether or not you are saved or not. You never need to worry if you had “scored enough points”.
GOOD WORKS ASK GOD TO APPROVE OF EVIL
By covenant, we are declared perfect. What makes us evil is shed. What gets us into heaven is that our spirit is alive. There can be no sin or evil in heaven. Therefore, there can be no evil or sin allowed into heaven. Salvation by works would mean that God would have to approve of sin and evil in Heaven, which cannot be.
GOOD WORKS CONTRADICT THE BIBLE
The Bible declares that we are saved by faith, not works. Any system of works is by definition arbitrary and capricious. A system of works is dependent on us and what we do. The Bible tells us that Christ did all the heavy lifting: all we have to do is believe. Salvation is dependent on what Jesus and what he has already done, not by any set of works.
WHAT’S MORE FAIR?
An arbitrary standard or one that‘s the same for everyone? Many love to espouse the notion that if you’re a “good” person, you’ll go to heaven. However, that just doesn’t hold up when we examine what that really means.
Rev. Dr. N. Patrick Marica contributes incisive Christian commentary on this blog on a regular basis. He is the Vice-Chancellor of Amherst Theological Seminary, and he has a D. Min. from Amherst Theological Seminary. He has his MA from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is the author of the book: "The Walk Applied". He has also written "The Fasting and Prayer Handbook". He has been married to Kathy since 1985. They have 2 adult daughters and an adult son.
Contact Nick at email@example.com
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