2 Corinthians 5:14
Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.
Author and pastor, Tim Keller, says that when we repent of our sins, we also must repent of the things we did right because those “right” things weren’t enough to save us either.
Thinking I only need to repent for what I’ve done wrong is only half of it because even if I had never done any wrong, the good that I’ve done isn’t enough to save me either. So I must give no credit to myself; I must realize that all of me–ALL OF ME– needs to be excused. Otherwise I could fool myself into thinking that “I’m not that bad” or at least not as bad as Charles Manson or Adolf Hitler.
We also believe that we have all died to our old life... including the stuff I ever did right. Romans 3:27 puts it this way: Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. God never intended on saving people because of the little bit of good that is in there somewhere. Regardless of what we’ve done, good or bad, we are only saved by faith. God never ever looked at me and said, “Yes, I forgive your sins and because you never did anything as bad as Adolf Hitler, you may have eternal life.” NO! He only saved me at all because I decided to believe in HIM. There is no currency I give in return this relationship. He just gives and gives and gives and gives and gives. It speaks VOLUMES to his love!
The good things I do as a “New Creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) isn’t continually saving me either. If I can’t be good enough to get free from my sins, then how is it possible I stay free from them by doing all good things all of a sudden? First of all, it’s not possible. Secondly, the fact is that I stay free from sin and death because I admit daily that I have never done anything to deserve God’s grace. The only reason he keeps pouring it out on me is because he WANTS to for everyone who simply believes in him.
Hebrews 11:6 makes it clear: And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. His grace is my reward. By his grace, I am given forgiveness, a new heart, and eternal life. His grace has never been a prize for me doing something good before or since I believed in Him.
Thank you so much for your grace that is not dependent upon what I can do because I am inconsistent and extremely unworthy most of the time in the opinion of the world and all the time in comparison to you perfect Son, Jesus, who has SAVED me in every way a person could be saved simply by believing in him and not by accomplishing many feats of goodness. Thank you so much that you operate on grace and not any other kind of currency. You are so kind and good to free me this way. I love you and thank you and pray in Jesus’ name, amen.