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May 19, 2009

Faith in Christ is not about doing, but trusting in what has already been done

by Dave Malnes

There was a retired man who asked once about his prospects of going to heaven. He felt his prospects were slim and was resigned to going to hell. He said, “You don’t know some of the terrible things I have done.”

There was a woman who spent almost every day at church volunteering for a myriad of activities. You could say that she practically lived at the church. Outwardly, she seemed like a godly woman, but inwardly her motivation was to atone for a secret sin in her past.

And there was the college student who was interested and drawn to the teachings of the Bible and to Jesus Christ. However, he was reluctant to accept the Christian faith. He thought, “It just sounds too easy to be true.”

It is easy for all of us to think that our relationship with God depends on what we do for Him. We picture God in our minds with a clipboard in his hands writing notes on everything we have done or failed to do. Perhaps we picture him waiting to see if we hold up our end of the bargain and prove ourselves worth of His love and approval. There certainly is not much joy in this picture of our relationship with God. No comfort exists and not a whole lot of hope.

In the Bible, Jesus didn’t define our relationship with God as being about what we do for God. In fact, Jesus told his disciples that he would die and would rise again on the third day. The Old Testament had promised a Savior who would suffer for our sins so that we could be forgiven. He would rise again from the dead so that we too could conquer death and live forever in heaven.

So, can I ask you a question? Are you trying to make up for sins of the past to win your way back in to God’s favor? Are you wrestling with despair of knowing that you can’t?

Remember that Jesus suffered for your sins. He suffered for all of them no matter what they are. I urge you to not live under the joyless burden of thinking you owe God anything for the gift of eternal life. Your risen Savior is the certainty that God loves you and has already saved you. Your salvation is not about what you do for God, but it is all about what Jesus had done for you. Trust in Jesus, and live as happy, thankful and free children of God.

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