Not long ago I asked some of my friends to answer a question I asked on Face Book. My question was, “If you could ask God just one question and you knew He’d answer, what would you ask Him?” Several great questions came pouring in. I have decided to answer them all in a series of blogs. The first question was, “Am I a good person?”
Have you ever heard someone say that you get to Heaven by being a good person? I have heard this many, many times.
As I stated in my last blog, there are many different religions in the world and all of them are works-based religions except for Christianity, which is the only religion that promises salvation by Grace alone. What is a works-based religion? A works-based religion is one that claims you have to do good works in order to make it to Heaven. In other words, some religions require that you get to Heaven by being nice to others, praying several times a day, going to confession, belonging to a particular church and/or doing good deeds. One problem with this belief is that one never knows how good one has to be. The second problem with this belief is that it just isn’t biblically true.
Some people think that they can do good deeds to outweigh the bad and tip the scales in their favor. This just isn’t biblical. Even Billy Graham and Mother Theresa have sinned. They too are saved only by Grace.
Here’s the truth; no one is good. Not even one of us. We are all born under Adam’s sin. He, as the first man, sinned when he and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God held Adam responsible for this. You can read about this in Genesis chapter three. We call this first sin the Fall of Man. As a result, God cursed man and woman. God reconciled man to Himself by sending Jesus to us. When Jesus came, He atoned for our sin by dying on the cross as the (sacrificial) lamb (It’s no coincidence that he died on the Passover Friday). Now only through faith In Jesus Christ is righteousness given.
Here are some verses from the Bible that support the claim that no one is good and that only through Jesus can one be saved:
Romans 3:10 No one is righteous, not even one.
Romans 3:12 There is no one who does good, not even one.
Romans 3:20 No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Eph. 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Romans 3:22 Righteousness is given though faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
Romans 3:23: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Do you see the pattern here? No one is righteous. Not one of us is good. All of us are sinners and fall short of God’s glory. There are no works, and no good deeds that will ever help us earn our way into Heaven. Heaven can’t be earned. Grace and nothing else save us. It is a gift from God. Belief in the person of Christ (His deity, his death and resurrection) is the only way we can enter Heaven. By this I don’t mean just believing that He exists. I’m talking about belief in Him; trusting in Him everyday of your life. Belief that Jesus exists is not enough and will not save you. James 2:19 says, You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. The demons know who Jesus is but they don’t put their trust in Him as their Lord and savior.
Romans 10:9 says that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. That is the only way. Not by works, not by being a good person, because not one of us is good.