May 19, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship
Do you want to go to heaven? Of course you do, who wouldn’t want to go to heaven? But how do plan on getting there? Work a deal with God? Perform some special act of service? Elder Ken McAuley takes us into a thoughtful examination of Galatians 2 and 3 as he examines the basis of our salvation and the natural tendency to gratefully accept salvation by grace, but then seek to fall back on good works to demonstrate your worthiness to enter the Kingdom of God.
Word On Worship – May 19, 2013 Download / Print
… a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus.
Often we think that by doing something good we will please God in some way for our personal benefit. Our thought is that we can do something that we consider good and that it will also fall into God’s category of good. Most of the time, we hope that it will result in what we want to accomplish, whether it pleases God or not. In other words, our desire is not primarily to please God, but to get what we want. It may not be something evil, just not focused on God. It may be hypocritical or selfish or designed to draw attention to ourselves and we wonder why our prayers are not answered. Surely God has our interests at heart.
Take Lent, for example. What are we giving up, something evil? Then why don’t we give it up for the rest of our lives? Is it something that we consider needful, a sacrifice, to show God that we depend on Him to supply? Then why don’t we depend on Him to supply all the time? The point is, are we trying to please God or impress someone else of our piety? God knows our heart and He’s not impressed.
Are we trying to work our way into Heaven with our good works? Do you realize that God says in His Word that we are on the wrong track? Our motives are corrupt. Whether you take it from the Psalms 14:1-3 or Romans 3:10-12, the truth about our works of self-righteousness remains the same. Everything we generate from our own thinking is tainted in some way, and ultimately falls short when it comes to His righteousness or goodness (Romans 3:23). But He has a fix for this dilemma.
Did you ever give any thought as to why Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Almighty God had to go through all that torture and shame and death? Because in God’s way of thinking, there was no other way! Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice, as a human, for our sin because He was without sin. Because Jesus Christ was without sin He satisfied the requirement of a Holy God to pay the just consequence for our sin. The only thing He requires from us is to believe that to be true and place our trust in what Christ did, not in anything we can do. He then places His Spirit within us to inspire us to do things that are truly good. Then getting into Heaven is no longer an issue because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. But our works, whether good or not so good, testify of our relationship to Him and can affect how we live there.