OUR GOOD DEEDS?
Gen. James Green
R OMANS GIVES us a glimpse of Jesus’ love and sacrifice for us: “He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
The key word, I feel, is “freely”—no strings attached. One Christian minister put it this way: “Having Christ, we have all. An assurance of God’s providential care requires some firmer foundation than intuition.” But this only works as we accept the LIBERATION Jesus offers freely.
Think about this, if God (or since God) has already gone beyond the utmost conceivable limits of generosity, is there any necessary gift that He will now withhold?? (His gifts are not always our wants!) Christ isn’t going to give us “things” that will hinder or hurt our walk with Him.
Christ’s death and God’s love, which is revealed in that death, is our assurance of their care for us, which is sustained by that death freely given.
Romans 3:25 says that, “God put (Christ) forward...by His blood to be received by faith” by faith, dear readers, not good deeds. What foolishness it is to think that “good deeds” is what buys our eternal salvation. NO! It is our faith in what God/Christ has already done, not what we can do. GOOD DEEDS COME AFTER FAITH. If we rely on our goods deeds to save us, what we, as sinners, are doing is showing our independence as supreme worth: worthy of His accepting us into the fold. Col. 2:13 tells us, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses...God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses...” How can anyone think that, as a sinner, his or her “good deeds” are worthy of salvation? Our TRESPASSES won’t allow it!
So, faith in Christ Jesus must proceed salvation, “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Rom 14:23).
Let’s take this one step beyond: It is still folly to think that our “good deeds” outweigh our “bad deeds,” even as a believer? We must have faith, not good deeds, to get salvation; we must keep faith, as a believer, not merely doing good deeds. Without Christ—exalting faith, our deeds will signify nothing but pride. I know believers right now who do not even witness, preach or teach from the Bible, they just do “good works,” believing that men will see Christ in them. Well, we know what Jesus said about that: works to be seen of men, and not God, will not count.
Back to Col. 2:13. Let me fill in what I left out: “by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.” There is no salvation by balancing the record: “good deeds” vs. “bad deeds.” Our SINS, dear ones MUST BE BLOTTED OUT!!, NOT BALANCED. This and this ALONE is what Christ suffered and died to accomplish.
The cancellation happened when the record of our deeds was NAILED TO THE CROSS (2:14). At the cross, our DAMNATION was nailed; at the cross our SALVATION was made available...and our final salvation depends on our CONTINUED FAITH in the one who FREELY loved and died for us as sinners.