No matter what we do, it’s…
August 30th, 2019
Roman Catholics do Penance. Many Christians think they have to perform to a certain standard for them to be acceptable to God. Many non-believers are not Christians because they feel that they can never be good enough for Jesus to accept them. Even preachers of the false ‘Prosperity Gospel’ perversions, tell their people their faith is equated to what they do and how much the invest in their salvation.
What would you say if I told you none of that is good enough for God? He’s not interested, buying into, or willing to accept anything you have or can give to purchase your salvation for the sin in your life. I’m not talking tongue in cheek here. There is literally nothing you can do, no amount you can pay, no personal sacrifice you can initiate which will sway God who is full of Justice, from executing judgement on us for our failure to meet His standard.
We are just “Not Good Enough!”
In the Old Testament the Jewish people had to constantly present sacrifice after sacrifice in order to demonstrate their faith in God’s promises. We often fail to realize that these sacrifices where worthless if they didn’t come from the heart and bolstered by faith in God and His Word.
Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me!
As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting — they are all sinful and false.
I want no more of your pious meetings. I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
Isaiah 1:13-15 (NLT)
Yes, this is a quote out of Isaiah and that book amazingly is in the Old Testament, we are under the New Covenant!
Jesus didn’t present a different spin on our offerings.
Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
Hebrews 13:15-16 (NLT)
Reflecting back on the passage in Isaiah, if we applied this mode of sacrifice in that context God wouldn’t be disgusted as He says He is; the heart makes the difference.
Even with good intentions we fall short. We can say we love Jesus till we are blue in the face and until we are washed in His blood and His grace is applied to us, nothing is good enough.
Let’s look at what this section in Isaiah is finished with.
Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat. But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Isaiah 1:16-20 (NLT)
The key is to be obedient. Jesus says…
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”
John 14:1 (NLT)
There is a way we can settle up our debt with God. It is through the grace of His Son Jesus Christ, who gave his life so that He might redeem us! Nothing we can do on our own. We have a paltry role in our salivation, which is summed up in one word; faith.
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (CSB)
We invest our faith in Jesus and He and His grace does the rest. It’s not what we do that saves us, it is what Jesus has done! We accept the fact that we are sinners and have no possible means of saving ourselves; then rely on Him for our salvation; our salvation is assured.
We can work as hard and as long as we want. We can funnel funds into God’s work and His Church at a fevered pace and unless we trust in Him for our salvation it is simply “Not Good Enough!”
There is no way we can walk away from our sin unless our hand is held by our Savior. Nothing we can do, nothing we can say, no amount of money, nothing within our grasp that can elevate us to God’s standard. Only Jesus, His grace, and our repentant heart that bring us into a relationship with Jesus and adoption into God’s family as His son or daughter.
Everything else is just “Not Good Enough!”
In His Grace!