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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No.07 How Much Good Is Enough???

 

I was most encouraged by the message I heard this morning, as it reminded me of the awesome wonder of “Grace”—God’s “Amazing Grace” for sure! But what is grace? We’ve all heard the definition of grace, “underserved and unmerited favor”! But grace goes so much farther than this simple idea. What is it that saves us? It is God’s grace for sure, but what does that look like?

Let’s peruse some familiar passages in scripture and see what we can conclude. Is it our goodness that saves, or is it God’s goodness? Goodness which according to Paul’s letter to the Romans is totally underserved! But I praise God that HE has saved me anyway!!! That HE is willing to save all who will come to HIM through Jesus!

Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access

by faith

into this grace

wherein we stand,

and rejoice

in hope of the glory

of God.

3 And not only so,

but we glory in tribulations also:

knowing that tribulation

worketh patience;

4 And patience,

experience;

and experience,

hope:

5 And hope maketh not ashamed;

because the love of God is shed abroad

in our hearts

by the Holy Ghost

which is given unto us.

6 For when we were yet without strength,

in due time

Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God

commendeth his love toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

9 Much more then,

being now justified

by his blood,

we shall be saved

from wrath

through him.

10 For if,

when we were enemies,

we were reconciled

to God

by the death of his Son,

much more,

being reconciled,

we shall be saved

by his life.

11 And not only so,

but we also joy in God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

by whom we have now received

the atonement.” Romans 5:1-11

We are “justified” by faith in Jesus; made right with God—we who were “without strength”, who were “the ungodly”; and yet God loved us “while we were yet sinners”—all who are apart from Jesus!!!

while we were enemies,

we were reconciled

to God

by the death of his Son

There is “none righteous, (good before God) no, not one” –apart from Jesus’ righteousness, we are all lost! And that’s what we must come to understand! It’s all about the sacrifice that Jesus made, not how “good” we can be! We can’t be good enough to cover the sin we’ve already, committed, much less the sins that we fall to each and every day! Paul has even more to say to the Ephesians, which reiterates the truth that we are all “sinners”, in need of a Savior—and only God’s grace provides the solution to our need—Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for our salvation (See 1 Corinthians 15:3-6)!!!

And you hath he quickened,

who were dead in trespasses

and sins;

2 Wherein in time past ye walked

according to the course of this world,

according to the prince of the power

of the air,

the spirit that now worketh

in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also

we all had our conversation

in times past

in the lusts of our flesh,

fulfilling the desires of the flesh

and of the mind;

and were by nature the children

of wrath,

even as others.

4 But God,

who is rich in mercy,

for his great love

wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins,

hath quickened us together with Christ,

(by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together,

and made us sit together

in heavenly places

in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come

he might shew

the exceeding riches

of his grace

in his kindness

toward us

through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;

and that not of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works,

lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God

hath before ordained

that we should walk

in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10

Did you get that?

we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God

hath before ordained

that we should walk

in them

It’s all about HIM—not about us! We “are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus”! There aren’t enough good works that we can do to ‘save’ ourselves, and because of that—sin– GOD sent us Jesus to do what we could never do—save ourselves! There aren’t enough good works to make up for the sin that we have done, are doing and will do—never enough!

Therefore

if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God,

who hath reconciled us

to himself

by Jesus Christ,

and hath given to us

the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit,

that God was in Christ,

reconciling the world

unto himself,

not imputing their trespasses

unto them;

and hath committed unto us

the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then

we are ambassadors for Christ,

as though God did beseech you

by us:

we pray you

in Christ’s stead,

be ye reconciled

to God.

21 For he hath made him

to be sin for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made

the righteousness of God

in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

God accepts Christ Jesus’ sacrifice—our sin placed on HIM–and credits to our account Jesus’ perfect righteousness! He who “knew no sin” took on my sin, because He loves me, and you; all so that you and I might be made “the righteousness of God in him”! And it’s only “in him”! Only One Way—Jesus! And as Paul also said in another of his letters, when we know Jesus:

I can do all things

through Christ

which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

As Jesus himself reminds us, when we “abide” in Him, He will supply everything that we need to live, grow and be of service to HIM!

I am the true vine,

and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch

in me

that beareth not fruit

he taketh away:

and every branch

that beareth fruit,

he purgeth it,

that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean

through the word

which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me,

and I in you.

As the branch

cannot bear fruit

of itself,

except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye,

except ye abide

in me.

5 I am the vine,

ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me,

and I in him,

the same bringeth forth much fruit:

for without me ye can do nothing.”    John 15:1-5

So, my question for us today is, how much goodness are you depending on? How much goodness must one have to be right with God? Whose goodness? How much grace must God show to you before you will believe that He has made provision for YOU?

But God

commendeth his love toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us

Until we see ourselves as “sinners” we will never need a Savior! There is not enough ‘goodness’ in the world to save—but there is a ‘good’ God who has already paid the price to all who will come to Him in repentance and faith.

Testifying both to the Jews,

and also to the Greeks,

repentance toward God,

and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”    Acts 20:21

Amen and Amen!!! Grace at it’s best—IN Jesus!!!