God's undeserved favour on his people which we have through Jesus because he died for us and took the wrath we deserved for our sin. Romans 11:6 says that if we are saved by grace, "then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace." The fact is that we cannot help ourselves - we sin and we cannot undo that (Romans 3:23). We can only be saved by Grace. We couldn't do it, and that's a good thing.
You see, if we were saved by anything we could do then we would have our own righteousness. That's it. We would be good people, end of story. Sure, we'd be good enough to get to heaven on our own merit, but what we have in Jesus is far, far better.
- We have Christ's Righteousness.
2 Corinthains 5:21 saysJesus took our sins and we take his righteousness. We are holy in God's sight, not based on what we've done. When God looks at us, he knows that we are still sinful, but he sees Jesus and Jesus' righteousness instead of our sin. Jesus took our sin, we took his righteousness. We died to sin with him, and we rose to new life with him (Romans 6)
For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God
Isn't it far better to have Jesus' righteousness, God's holiness instead of our own works? We have God's grace and mercy - his righteousness becomes accounted to us through faith. That's truly awesome.
- We wouldn't be free of worry
If we had to count on ourselves and our own works, then we would have to constantly worry and be careful. Since one sin is enough for us to be justly and eternally condemned to hell, we would have to watch every word, thought and deed. We would have to constantly worry and fret over everything - making sure we didn't stuff it up. One stuff up could mean eternity in hell without any hope for forgiveness.
We would truly be slaves to good works.
Through Christ we know that there is complete forgiveness. We need to hate sin and we need to fight it, but we know that we will stuff up, and we know that he has paid the price. Every true Christian is (and will be) forgiven for their sins. It isn't an excuse to sin more, but it is a reason to praise God for what he has done. It is far better that we are forgiven then that we are slaves to doing good.
God Deserves all Glory
This is only part one of the series, but here's a concluding point. We cannot make it ourselves, and that means God deserves all the glory. We sin, we stuff it up and we cannot save ourselves. God reigns and he has shown forth his goodness in offering us salvation.
We don't deserve any of the praise. God deserves it all. So praise him for all he has done!
Are you trusting in your own effort or in Christ? Only Jesus can save.