Transfer your trust to Him
1. Which life has more merit (worth) in the eyes of God?
The sinful life of fallen man or the sinless life of His precious Son?
2. Upon which would I rather depend?
Upon the merit of the life I’ve lived or the merit of the life Jesus lived? He who was without sin gave His life as a sacrifice on the cross. The merit (value, worth) of His life was applied to my debt when He died in my place.
3. Which is more pleasing to God?
The sacrifice of His Son whom He sent to die or the efforts of sinful man to justify himself (declare himself innocent) before God by the merits of his own life?
4. How does man attempt to justify himself before God?
God’s commandments are not limits He arbitrarily places on us to frustrate us, as if He were some cosmic killjoy. These commandments reveal the moral limits already within us. We are not able to be morally perfect. He is showing this to us so we will acknowledge our sin (missing the mark), receive His provision for our sin and forsake our own provision for our sin.
This sounds like such a strange phrase: our own provision for our sin. I believe the most common response among people is to feel guilty when they see they don’t measure up to God’s perfect moral standard and then try to do something good to cover (or get rid of) their guilt. They want the guilty feelings to go away so they make provision for this by doing something. Whatever it is that someone does to get rid of his guilt is his own personal way of “making provision for his own sin.” It is what he is trusting in to assure himself that he is right with God. These maneuvers may endear him to other people, but these maneuvers do not endear him to God. God has made known His provision for our sin and only His provision will take our guilt away: the blood-payment of His Son’s death on the cross. His payment—not ours. His work—not ours. His glory—not ours.
Every religion in the world, except Christianity, has one thing in common: they all teach that man can make provision for his own sin. Some religions attempt to avoid the subject all together and don’t even recognize the existence of sin. (Yet, at the same time, they acknowledge the existence of a gap between God and man.) These religions all teach that man can purify himself, improve himself or raise his consciousness or spiritual awareness to connect with God. These are false religions because at their core they are religions of works. They teach that man can do something (good works, good deeds) to bridge the gap between himself and God. These false religions include the New Age movement and the current ecumenical/global/interfaith movement to unite the religions of the world. The unwavering theme of the New Testament is that salvation is not by our works, but by faith in the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf by His death on the cross and His bodily resurrection from the grave.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done…but according to His mercy…through Jesus Christ our Savior.
…Who has saved us…not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus.
These same religions also misrepresent God. They emphasize only one aspect of His character—His love—and minimize His love by doing so. By not acknowledging His holiness, His righteousness and His justice, His holy love is reduced to sentimentality, void of the self-sacrificing love God displayed on the cross—a love so great He was willing to lay down His life for us. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.”86
The words “God is love” (1 John 4:8) mean that love is an essential attribute of God. Love is something true of God, but it is not God. It expresses the way God is.… We say that God is love…and we mean the words to be understood in much the same way that words are understood when we say of a man that, “He is kindness itself….” We are not stating that kindness and the man are identical, and no one understands our words in that sense.… Equating love with God is a major mistake which has produced much unsound religious philosophy and has brought forth a state of vaporous poetry completely out of accord with the Holy Scriptures…. If literally God is love, then literally love is God and we are duty bound to worship love as the only God there is. If love is equal to God, then God is only equal to love and God and love are identical. Thus, we destroy the concept of personality in God and deny outright all His attributes except one, and that “one” we substitute for God. The God we have left…is not the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Once man acknowledges the other parts of God’s character (as clearly portrayed in the Bible), he must then acknowledge his own sin and the penalty of sin (spiritual death) in light of God’s righteousness (moral perfection). At that point, the falsehood of these other religions is exposed because they do not acknowledge that God Himself has said only the holy, righteous life of His Son sacrificed on our behalf is sufficient to pay in full the penalty of man’s sin. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”87
…By the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene…there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.88
There is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all.
Unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.