Thursday, October 28, 2010

What does your Scale Consist of?


Are your good deeds outweighing your bad deeds? So often this is the idea people have on how they will inherit the kingdom of God. We all have this tendency to think we must please God in order to hear him say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." If we can imagine a balance or scale in our heads, we can see what we think are our "good deeds" piled up one side. The pile looks really good to our eyes. We reflect on it and are so proud of those moments when we helped the old lady across the street, gave to a charity, went to church regularly, added a Bible study, gave our tithes and offerings to the Lord, provided for our family and so on and so forth. This is one impressive pile of...

In order to finish that sentence I want us to beware of two perspectives: Our own and God's. Keep in mind the reason for the "good deeds" for the majority of the world is so we can bypass hell in order to live eternally with God or whatever your idea of heaven may be. When we view the scale through our own eyes we would finish the sentence by saying, "This is one impressive pile of good stuff that God will be pleased with." But when we read the sentence through the lens of Scripture we see God telling us, "That is one impressive pile of 'filthy rags' or trash." In Isaiah 64:6 we read, "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment." When we read God's Word we get a clear picture of our "good deeds." We see that our "good deeds" have not brought down the scale one millimeter to balance out the opposite side which has God's perfect and righteous character on it. Our pile has no shot. Ever.

May I encourage you with hope? "For our sake, he made him who knew no sin to be sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). I love this passage because it clearly speaks of Christ being our substitute. All of our filthy rags or polluted garments were place upon Christ as the sin bearer for those who would repent and trust in his work. But that is not it because in return we are given the perfect righteousness of Christ. Christ became sin for us and we were imputed with Christ's perfect righteousness, in God's eyes.

I must confess that as a follower of Christ I too struggle with trusting all the time in Christ's finished work. I want to add my own righteousness at times. Ultimately I am spitting in the face of Christ's work thinking my own righteousness is better than his. What foolishness! I'm grateful for the Spirit's work to convict me of sin and bring me to repentance.

For someone who is not a follower of Jesus Christ, let me give you the hope of Christ and him crucified. The Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). This is the Good News of the Gospel. Stop trying to earn salvation through your good works. Confess that you are in rebellion against your Creator, repent of your sins and place your trust in Christ. Remember, outside of Christ, every polluted rag you throw on the scale to earn your salvation does nothing more than bring eternal damnation. Christ is your only hope!

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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