Jesus + Something = NOTHING
Jesus + Nothing = EVERYTHING
We are all Pharisees at heart. Accepting a message that says "you do nothing" is foreign in a world that says 'give to get'. Unlike any other religion (i.e., including Mormonism, the Prosperity Gospel, and all other pseudo-Christian religions); Christianity is NOT based on works. Actually, this concept is the fundamental truth of the gospel. Jesus paid it all on the cross...therefore, there is nothing left for any of us to do to help with salvation. Praise God! What Joy!
Galatians 2:16 clearly explains that we "know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ...because by observing the law no one will be justified." Paul is proclaiming the fundamental truth of the gospel, "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained though the law, Christ died for nothing!"
Why would Christ have died for nothing? Without a perfect sacrifice our sins would not be forgiven. We are all wicked sinners, even our righteous acts are like filthy rags before the Holy God (Isaiah 64:6)...so either we pay for our own sins (through eternal death and separation from God) or He takes the penalty for us (by sending Jesus to die in our place). Through Jesus' death, He exchanged our garment of sin--taking on the full wrath of God--and gave us his garment of righteousness; now enabling us to come into God's presence completely forgiven. So bottom line: We did nothing but sin! That's our work and that is all we bring to the gospel...our sin...sinners in need of a Savior!
Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7 says, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."
Yet another passage explains, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
I could go on and on with passages explaining this FREE gift of God. It's not only in the New Testament but the Old Testament too! God knew from the very beginning in Genesis that he would provide Jesus, our Savior. Do you understand you bring nothing to God? Does it hurt our pride that God needs nothing from us? Praise God, that he does what is best for us and not what we want...or we would be lost and on the road to Hell. Thank you Jesus for paying it ALL of the cross! Thank you for filing us with true joy.
K.J. Nally is a writer, teacher, and counselor. She is pursuing her master’s degree in Biblical Counseling, concentrating in women's ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. K.J. and her husband, Dustin, have a passion to fight for Godly marriages, spur on teens to seek purity, and encourage men and women to live obediently to their Creator God.
K.J. and Dustin are marriage and individual counselors at Hope Counseling Center through their church, North Wake. They also work with Converting Hearts Ministries,’ a Christ-centered addictions ministry.
K.J. is also a freelance journalist. Check out more about Christian Living at K.J.’s blog, Answers of Truth.