Last week I posed a question to you straight out of the Bible.
It is a question that I believe most Christians at some stage in their lives ask themselves.
It’s an innocent question because we are pre-conditioned to perform. We are pre-conditioned to work to be rewarded – to provide for you what I think it is you need from me in order to be accepted by you. That is our experience, generally, in life.
Religion would reinforce that message.
It says if you want to be blessed by God you better perform for that blessing. It says if you want to be accepted by God you better act acceptably.
So here’s that question out of John chapter 6 verse 28, four difference translations of it essentially saying the same thing…
- Then they said unto Him (Jesus), “What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” (AKJV)
- The people asked Jesus, “What are the things God wants us to do?” (EXB)
- They asked, “What must we do in order to accomplish the things God requires?” (CEB)
- “What exactly does God wants us to do?” the people asked. (CEV)
Would you agree with me that this is generally the position we take at the point we believe Jesus, “What is it now that God wants me to do?”
Let’s see how God Himself, through Christ, answers the question…
“God wants you to have faith in the One He sent.”
In other words, God wants you to entrust yourself to Jesus. That’s the work!
There’s nothing for me to do. What we needed to do, He Himself has done. It’s called the finished work of the Cross, and He wants you to entrusted yourself to Him.
Paul said something like this, I am not ashamed of the good news of Jesus Christ who made me to be what I am without my help. Therein is the power of God unto salvation. (Rom. 1:16)
There is no power in a self-help program towards righteousness.
Nor is there any power in a I’ll do a bit and you do a bit Jesus program towards righteousness. He did not come to joint-venture with us as it pertains to right standing with God.
No, Jesus came to give us what we could not do for ourselves.
We did not just need help, we needed deliverance out of an old condition into a new. Salvation, by virtue of His nature, does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. What do you think salvation means?
When did you think you got saved by Jesus and then stayed saved by your own effort? That makes no sense at all. But that is the mindset when you transport old man thinking into new creation reality.
We get confused and we struggle. We doubt our standing. And the reason we doubt is because we have taken your eyes off He who freely gave us our new creation reality and put our eyes back on ourselves. It’s called dead works. (Heb. 6:1)
The gospel of the good news of the grace of God is NOT what you do for Him. It is what Jesus has done for you.
For Christ is an end of law for righteousness for everyone who is believing. (Rom 10:4)
Since the fall (of first man Adam), the law has been man’s means towards righteousness that he could never accomplish, because he was unrighteous by birth, hence all his deeds are as filthy rags. So now you are in the righteousness of God through Christ, it is the end of the law towards something you have already been made.
The moment you try and reach into yourself to be, or accomplish, what God has already made you, you bring yourself undo the law which is the measure of your standing and it will always find fault with you.
There is nothing wrong with the law, the law is just doing what it was designed to do and that is to find fault with you and me. And so He came to bring us into a faultless reality in Jesus. Therefore, it is ludicrous to apply old creation thinking, and frameworks, and realms of legal performance into a free environment. For freedom Christ set you free Paul says. (Gal. 5:1)
Righteousness, being right with God. Being such as you ought to be by birth. A legal and literal child of God. That is what you are in Christ. God has imparted to you your righteous condition. Justification is the legal declaration that you are righteous.
Condemnation is the legal declaration of the unrighteous condition. The law was given to expose the unrighteous condition to itself.
There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION for all those who are in Christ Jesus! (Rom 8:1)