“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”
(Ephesians 2:8, 9)
So, you think your good deeds are going to get you to heaven? Does God really want or need your good deeds? Is He really impressed with your rituals or religiosity?
But you’ve been a really good person all your life. After all, you give to the poor, you attend a house of worship regularly, you are not a criminal, and, if you compare yourself with others, you definitely think there’s a good chance to enter the bliss of heaven. Furthermore, you hate bad people and perhaps wish they’d go to Hell. But are you yourself not going there?
Listen to the prophet Isaiah (64:6) who writes, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses (righteous deeds) are like filthy rags.” And it is God who told Isaiah to write this! By the way, notice the word “all!” Then David, Israel’s greatest king comes along and records, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there are nay who understand, who seek God. Every one of them has turned aside; they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, No, not (even) one” (Psalm 53:1-3). Paul echoes the same words: As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10-12) In other words, the entire Scriptures proclaim man’s religiosity to be unacceptable to God – – He doesn’t need it or want it and man is totally unable to meet God’s rightful demands!
You see, religion is basically man seeking to appease God or reach God through one’s good works. But man cannot do that since he has been corrupted by sin – – that which is contrary to the nature of God. So, what does God do? He sends His only begotten Son into the world to shed His blood for the unworthy sinner. This is the only atonement and sacrifice God will accept.
So, by accepting the Messiah’s death on the cross and resurrection, and completely trusting Him for the forgiveness of your sins, He pardons you and gives you everlasting life! Will it be your good works or will it be God’s grace?