“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Galatians 2:21
If right standing before God depends on your own work, then why did Jesus have to die a brutal death on the cross?
What good does Jesus’ perfect life do for us if we are really good people?
Do we want to declare that Jesus’ death was invalid and say it has no way to affect our standing with God?
Our works depend on God’s grace for us through Jesus, not the other way around. God’s grace is not dependent on our goodness. We don’t need to clean ourselves up before we come to Jesus—we need to come to Jesus and let his cleansing work of grace be enough for us. Christ is our salvation, Christ alone. If we think it’s our work, we might as well write “VOID” across the check of grace God wrote for us in Christ Jesus. The rest of our eternity could be wrapped up in our understanding of this.
If we think and live as if our good works let us stand before God as a sort of account equalizer, then we have a serious misunderstanding. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection are the great equalizer of our debt of sin to God, and purchaser of our right standing before God.
Take comfort and give praise that Jesus did this for us and that your salvation isn’t dependent on you.
Let’s be clear: the law is not a bad thing. It is a gift from God to point us to the fact that we need grace. God uses anything that reminds us of Jesus’ great love for us for his purposes. This understanding frees us up to be obedient to God’s word. It changes our motives from a “have to” to a “get to.” A “have to” being—I must accomplish this in order to be right with God, and a “get to” being—I get to live out of my new identity that Jesus has purchased for me. It takes the pressure off of us, because the pressure from the weight of sin was dealt with on the cross.
Jesus’ perfect life and wrath-absorbing death on the cross are the evidences that simply following the right actions and doing the right thing will never save us. If we believe it can, then we nullify the grace that God has for us and say that Jesus’ death has no purpose in our life, and we also declare the prophets who told us about his life to be liars. I pray that we are not brash enough to declare Jesus’ death useless and the prophets liars.
Take comfort and give praise that Jesus did this for us and that your salvation isn’t dependent on you. You will get a nice reminder of God’s goodness to you every time you screw up—and next time you do, praise God for his work through Christ for us.