Many view their relationship with Heavenly Father as a chasm that needs crossing. So they try to bridge the gap between where they fall short and God’s expectation of perfection. They do their best with what they have. They hope it will be enough. Deep down, however, they’re not sure.
Am I good enough? Have I done enough? How much is enough? How hard do I have to “try?”
These questions can lead you to doubt your standing with God.
There’s a good reason for this doubt. No matter how hard we try, we can never do enough.
God’s standard is perfection (Matthew 5:48).
Our very best efforts still fall far short (Isaiah 64:6).
In fact, adding our efforts to Christ ruins everything.
It’s like adding weak links to a rescue chain.
If we depend in any way on what we do, it will have catastrophic results.
Heavenly Father didn’t send his Son so you might just hope to live eternally with him. He wanted you to know for sure. Jesus came to bring a complete rescue. You can’t add to it, AND you don’t have to.
Not everyone realizes that about God’s incredible rescue.
For example, in the Book of Acts, a jailer in Philippi thought all of his prisoners had escaped. Anticipating punishment, he was about to kill himself. But Paul stopped him; everyone was still there.
A great earthquake had shaken the foundations of the prison, opening all the doors. Miraculously everyone’s bands were loosed. When the jailer awoke out of his sleep and saw the prison doors open, he drew out his sword and prepared to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell before Paul and Silas,
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?Acts 16:26-30
The jailer had just looked death in the face and knew he wasn’t ready. He wasn’t good enough. He hadn’t done enough. He was not enough. He fell to his knees and begged, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30)
The jailer assumed it must come from something he did. How surprised he must have been when instead he heard:
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.Acts 16:31
It wasn’t about trying harder or doing more. Instead, it was all about what Jesus had already done.
He died innocently in your place.
When he accomplished his rescue, he cried out, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
There was nothing more to add.
Jesus calls us to take another look at that rescue chain. When you pause from the panic, you discover that it’s already long enough. God has carried out a complete rescue. Jesus is all you need.
Jesus is enough.
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Additional Questions You Might Have
Did Heavenly Father give us salvation or a plan of salvation?
Many agree that Jesus is the Savior. But there is considerable confusion about what that means.
Does God’s forgiveness give us a license to sin?
A common response to the teaching that forgiveness is God’s gift is the thought that this then gives people the license to sin all the more. But Scripture doesn’t support that argument.