Salvation comes by faith and not by deeds


By Shahid Shahbaz Khan
Special to ASSIST News Service

SARGODHA, PAKISTAN (ANS) What must I do to be saved? This is the question we may have asked ourselves at some point in our life. Actions are at the centre stage of our physical lives. We are instinctively prone to do actions. Absence of actions from ones life may render it futile, dull, drab and meaningless. One is born with alacrity to do actions. It takes a little for a growing up child to learn the significance of actions in the world. He witnesses his parents, teachers, neighbors and relatives doing different actions and roles.

As he grows his comprehension of the place of “actions” gets better and better. Before he sets lofty goals and acts in a specified manner to achieve them he has in fact started acting at the time of his birth—– the movements and noises he makes and his attempts at mimicking the language his parents speak are all actions. Hence the growing up child takes it for granted that in order to be successful in the temporal life he has to act be it a play ground, school studies, partying with his peers, winning praise from parents or friends it all demands actions from him. Though the Action Theory is not programmed or engineered in the child’s mind but the very significance of Actions is learnt by him as he grows up.

We struggle and wrestle in our lives to achieve certain things we want to have— be that, education, social status, family, prosperity or success. They are outcomes of our labor. We would stage no achievements in this world if we do not act appropriately to achieve them.

A farmer has to till the land, spray pesticides, weed out unwanted herbs and water the fields when necessary before he could dream of a wonderful harvest.

Likewise a student is likely to cut a sorry figure at the declaration of his examination result if he had not burned his midnight oil-lamp.

We all work to earn our daily bread. It simply does not work otherwise. Physical things are governed by physical means but the same equation does not hold true when spiritual things come into focus.

Jesus brought the message of salvation to earth. It comes as a free gift to the human race once we acknowledge Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. The Christian life is all about Faith in Christ’s done work on the cross of Calvary. It’s not about how good we are and how many charitable works we do but its all about faith which is the only requirement for an entry into heaven. Put simply one has to act to wield worldly success but one has to have faith in order to have salvation.

We hear a lot about good deeds that we have to do in order to please God. We do our damnedest best to establish our own righteousness but Isaiah tells us in very categorical terms what our righteousness in God’s sight is, it says “Our righteousness is like filthy rags” so if our “good deeds” are like filthy rags before the sight of God how we are going to be justified. Apostle Paul in the book of Romans tells us that “They (Israel) being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about establish their own righteousness. That is exactly we are all busy in doing. We try to make our own righteousness. What does that entail to? We are deeply ignorant about the righteousness that God brought into through Lord Jesus Christ, that down-right sinners can be justified by believing in Jesus because He has been glorified about his sins by the death of Jesus and His righteousness is manifested in raising Christ from the dead and saving the one who trusts in Him.

“Christ is the end of the Law of righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom 10:5). The law bids me to be holy. I was not. The Law bids me to be righteous but I was not .It bade me to love my neighbor. Have you ever done that in your life? Do you think that by doing this it will get you saved? I deem you have a poor chance. Do not even try this ground for the law can only curse you it can not save you.

The Apostle Paul says, “Therefore, the Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal 3:23) It is sorry thing to learn that we all at some point in our lives try to repair the gulf of sin between us and God by our “good deeds” by overlooking Christ’s done work. The Law never promised eternal life but it only comes through the sinless Son of Man. It was the sheer love of God which made him send his only son into his distorted and disfigured earth to restore all things back to God. Love brought him down and He was taken up in righteousness. Love (God) gave the son of man (Jesus) and sent Him to earth to die in sinner’s stead, and righteousness raised him because he had glorified in dying for sin and the sinner. Now Christ’s work is done, atonement made, and redemption accomplished. He has been raised from the dead in righteousness for our justification. The claims of the God have been met in the judgment of the cross. A sinner who looks at Jesus as his savior is saved.

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” A simple Gospel for simple souls and then in the following verse we read, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” And notice it is the heart and not the tongue. It is not the head work, that works here, but it is the mere act of the heart to have faith in Him and then comes the confession.

How simple and easy it is to get salvation but it saddens my heart that how complicated we make it by our human thoughts and deeds. Salvation by faith always makes me remember that dying wise thief on a Cross beside Jesus, who was six hours away from death when he met Jesus; who being bad in all his life got what it takes to get a salvation and acted in faith and believed in the words of the one hanging beside him. How tremendous must have been his faith and remember he was man of not a good report, a thief, but yet the first fruit of Christ’ accomplished work. He is the first trophy of the redeemer’s sacrifice.

In what ways are you trying to be justified with God, or to earn your salvation? No matter how good you are at turning to church on Sundays or how generous are you with your offering, or how many charitable deeds have you done in your life but be that sure that you can never ever earn your Salvation by establishing righteousness by your good deeds. God is not pleased with them. I see people at the local Church here in the town where I live bringing lambs and cattle in the church as to please God for they think that God will be happy at their “holy” deeds, but God in his divine wisdom has made the way for us to follow that is to believe in his only holy son Jesus Christ. Abraham “believed” in Him and it was accredited to him as righteousness and then we hear the heroes of faith in the Old Testament who simply acted in faith and became distinguished in the whole race of mankind.(Heb:11).

“What shall I do to be saved” the trembling and terrified keeper of the prison asked Paul and Silas. Do you know what their reply was? He was simply given a simple Gospel. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31)

A happy man with a happy household once they learnt the easiness of Salvation wrapped in simple faith. Is salvation as easy for you as this man? A simple act of faith in Jesus will pass you from Death to life, from darkness to light and from God’s wrath to God’s lap.

How easy is that for you? Believe in Him now and taste his free gift of salvation.

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