You're Not Enough...
Nothing you’ve done in your past can reconcile you with a just and perfect God. Nothing you’re doing in your present makes you worthy to be called a child of God. You cannot concoct any sort of deed in your future that will convince God to love you. You may be deemed “good enough and smart enough” by your peers in this world but “gosh darn it” God doesn’t love you because of any of that (to distort the infamous words of SNL’s Stewart Smalley).
This defeating truth should be the most freeing concept in the Christian faith, yet for us sinners it is the hardest reality to accept. This truth frees us when we understand that it is the works of Christ Alone (Solus Christus) that make us righteous before God. You see it’s never about what we’ve done and always about what He’s [Jesus} done. Why would anyone want to buck this biblical truth!?
Despite the fact that we’re saved through the works of Jesus alone we insist on trying to earn a love that is freely given to us. Like a neglected child working tirelessly to gain approval from his father who doesn’t have time for him this mentality leaves us worn, depressed, full of anxiety and lost in a sense of abandonment. God is unlike any earthly father, He’s infinitely greater than any example we can conjure and fully provides the necessary work of salvation through His son Jesus Christ.
In our worst moments when sin abounds we’re tempted to think that we’re too unlovable for God. Those burdensome moments leave us doubting God’s love for us based on bad works in our life. On the other hand, in our absolute best moments when sin is distant we’re tempted to think that we’re lovable based on good works that supposedly attain God’s approval. In those “righteous” moments we wrongfully think we’ve earned the love of God resulting in a false confidence/assurance. Your bad works can’t over-power God’s grace and your good works can’t undo your sinful past. Your works are not the answer to the question of salvation, it’s not even part of the equation. Christians are saved by the works of Christ alone (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“Since all of us, born in sin and God’s enemies, have earned nothing but eternal wrath and hell so that everything we are and can do is damned, and there is no help or way of getting out of the predicament… therefore another man had to step into our place, namely, Jesus Christ, God and man, and had to render satisfaction and make payment for sin through his suffering and death.”
- Martin Luther
What a relief it is to know that my sin can’t mess up God’s salvation. If I were capable of out-sinning God’s grace I’m so convinced I would. What a relief it is to know that my good works can’t earn God’s approval. If we had to win the approval of God through good works I’m convinced I couldn’t produce enough of them to appease an infinitely holy and just God.
Thank you God for being both Just and Justifier of my soul,
For more on the doctrine of Solus Christus check out last week's message: Sola (Part 2) - Christ Alone
Further Scripture to study:
1 Peter 2:24
1 Peter 3:18