When are you good enough?

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Ephesians Chapters 1 through 3

This week’s reading is found in Ephesians chapter 2:8-9. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” There are many people today who call themselves Christians who think that if they are good enough they will go to heaven after they die. I believe this is the true dividing line between those who have had a spiritual awakening and those who have not. Many people are what I would call ‘cultural’ Christians. They grew up in America, went to church for a period of time and feel that makes them a Christian. When asked about going to heaven their standard answer is, “I am a good person. I believe God will let me into heaven when I die.” The problem with this kind of thinking is that the Bible makes it perfectly clear that no one is good enough to earn their way to heaven. “It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Salvation is a gift from God. No one will ever be able to do enough good works to earn their way to heaven. Each one of us has committed sins and we cannot do enough good works to offset the bad things we have done. Even though we may think we are not as bad as some people, the fact is we have all sinned! This is why God sent His Son Jesus to earth, that He might pay the penalty for each one of us. What a relief to know that I can be assured of my salvation because of what Jesus did, rather than thinking I have to keep doing good works in hopes that they will erase all my bad works. Now I can live my life doing those good works not because I hope they earn me a place in heaven, but out of thanksgiving to God for what He has done for me. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, that God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

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