Garbage or Leftovers?
Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 2:8
“This is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
I believe that human morality, rather than flagrant sin, is the greatest obstacle to the Gospel today. If you ask the average law-abiding person why he expects to go to heaven, the answer will be some form of “because I’ve been good.” And the more religious a person is, the more difficult it is to realize his or her need for the righteousness of Christ.
Have you renounced any confidence in your own religious experience and trusted solely in Christ’s blood and righteousness? Perhaps you grew up in a highly moral and religious family. You’ve always been good and essentially blameless in the eyes of other people. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. But if your hope of eternal life is based on that goodness, your religion has actually become dangerous to you. It will keep you from heaven.
Or you may think your sin is too great to be forgiven. But the blood of Christ can indeed cleanse us from all sin.
All of us have a natural drift toward a performance-based relationship with God. We know we’re saved by grace through faith—not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9), but we somehow get the idea that we earn blessings by our works. After throwing overboard our works as a means to salvation, we want to drag them back on board as a means of maintaining favor with God. Instead of seeing our own righteousness as table scraps to be dumped, we see it as leftovers to be used later to earn answers to prayer.
We need to remind ourselves every day that God’s blessings and answers to prayer come to us not on the basis of our works, but on the basis of the infinite merit of Jesus Christ.
The text for this devotional comes from the award-winning NavPress devotional book Holiness Day by Day by Jerry Bridges. For more information or to order a copy, visit the NavPress website.