Does God Love More When “To Do” List Is Done?
So, if [since] God imputes the righteousness of Christ to us, a righteousness not our own, why do we still try to justify ourselves before God by our works?
“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Galatians 2:21
We cannot save ourselves.
Sin is so serious that God had to deal with the problem.
Since we did not save ourselves, neither can we maintain our salvation.
We live in a task-oriented, A+B=C, results-based-world. I love it! It’s the way I function well. If I have exercised, showered, had a quiet time, made the beds, stocked the pantry, quoted scripture to my children and received eye-contact in return from 1/3 of them, prepared dinner with something fresh and green on the side, had the opportunity to loved my neighbor and acknowledged that my husband exists, I have been a good person. I mean, I have had a good day.
On the flip-side, relying on my ever-so-unreliable-self and putting stock in my damnable good works leads to such despair. What I have worked so hard to maintain one day comes crashing down the next.
I can’t boast in getting myself here. I can’t “pull myself up by the bootstraps,” “get my heart right” or “clean up my act” enough to maintain my current standing with God.
God keeps me here, and he finishes his work.
Here is the evidence:
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Phil. 2:12-13
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. Hebrews 12:10 (spiritual discipline is not solely left up to us)
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2
Where is boasting in our being justified?
Where is boasting in our growth?
Once we believe and are saved, we are not left to our own devices. Rest in the fact that you are not only justified but that you are continually being justified because of the perfection of Christ.
“We must cling to the gospel promise that God is pleased with us because he is pleased with Jesus.” (The Gospel-Centered Life)
So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:7-9