Not Goodness but by Grace

“We…know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” – Galatians 2:15-16

If you died and had to face God today, why would he let you into heaven? “Because I believe in Jesus and because I am a good person.” Is that a correct answer? Much of religion today teaches the idea that if we are all basically good people, we are going to get to heaven. Just don’t do anything too bad and you’ll be alright.

That line of thinking does not mesh with what the Bible teaches us. The Bible very clearly teaches that the ONLY way to heaven is through faith in Jesus as our Savior from sin. “But I’m a good person. Doesn’t that count for something to be saved?” The answer is a resounding, no. Galatians chapter 2 teaches us that we cannot be saved by the things we do.  Let’s be honest. We are so quick to count up all of the good things we do, but that can’t begin to erase all of the wrong things we do. For each good deed or nice word, there are many selfish moments or lies spoken. For every generous action, we can think of handfuls of greedy thoughts. It does not matter how good we are. The point is we are not perfect as God’s law demands. If we rely on our own “goodness” to go to heaven, we are going to be horribly disappointed.

Thankfully there is one who was perfect – our Savior Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus had no sin even though he was tempted in every way that we are. Jesus lived a perfect life in our place and died an innocent death on our behalf. He is why we are saved. He is how we are forgiven. His blood washes away all of our sins.

Getting to heaven is not about what we do or don’t do. It is all about what Jesus has done for us. Put your faith in Jesus and trust in him alone as the way to heaven. When that day comes and we meet the Lord, he will let us into heaven only because we believe that Jesus is our Savior from sin. Trust in your Savior and learn to let go of your own “goodness.”

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for thinking and believing that I am good enough for heaven on my own. Help me to always realize that you are my only way to heaven. Thank you for your sacrifice and help me to trust in you and you alone. Amen.

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