I recently asked a local religious leader who would be justified before God at the judgment seat of Christ (John 5:21-22)? To which he replied, "I believe all good people will be in heaven." To which I said, "What is the basis or root cause of goodness?" The religious man said, "He thought that the standard to which we would gain eternal heaven was based upon how many goods works we produced." This man, like most religious lost people have no concept what God Almighty requires (Gal. 3:10). Because God is Holy and all men sinful, the best we can produce will never satisfy His demand (Isa. 64:6). The scriptures plainly and powerfully proclaim that, "there is none good, no not one" (Rom. 3:9-12). Certainly, any thinking person would see that creature merit and righteousness is excluded in the scheme of God's salvation. The only way any guilty sinner can be justified before God is to have a perfect justifying righteousness provided by God Himself without any contribution from the sinner (Rom. 4:1-7). This indeed is the good news of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is based upon His performance not ours (Psalm 57:2). No wonder the apostle said, "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (Phil. 3:8-9).
If any man thinks that he is justified before God by his good works he is tragically and dreadfully mistaken (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5). What a horrible rebuke of the effectual, substitutionary sacrifice and perfect obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ, to entertain thoughts of self glory, self righteousness and self salvation (Phil.2:6-9; Luke 16:15). Paul made this very argument to the Galatians church. "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Gal. 2:21).
The Lord Jesus Christ alone is all any sinner needs to stand in God's presence justified (Jude 24; Col. 1:19-22; Rom. 8:1). Those in Christ by sovereign adoption, effectual calling, powerful regeneration and saving faith have no other hope (2Thes. 2:13-16) nor ground on which to stand (Acts 4:12; Isa. 28:16). Some might ask, "Is the Lord Jesus Christ enough?" If the Lord Jesus Christ is all you have, God says that is enough! Here is one of many scriptures that tells us this blessed truth, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power" (Col. 2:9-10).
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