Our good works do not save us nor do they make God love us more. The converse is also true.
August 7, 2020.
We have a better understanding why we need Christ's righteousness beyond mere morality and ethical behavior. Our good works do not save us nor do they make God love us more. The converse is also true. Our evil deeds do not send us to hell nor do they make God love us less. Our salvation or condemnation depends on our acceptance or rejection of Christ - nothing else ( John 3:18 ). We must also understand that God's love for us is perfect and is not dependent on our behavior ( Rom. 5:8 ).
Our good deeds have two purposes, none of which are to merit our salvation. The first is to bring glory to God ( Matt. 5:16 ) and the second is to determine our reward in the Kingdom of God ( Rev. 22:12 ). Knowing this, when we do evil we dishonor God, especially when we call ourselves Christians. And our evil deeds serve to determine the length of our punishment ( Rev. 20:4, 12-15 ).
So keeping of the law doesn't bring righteousness but only measures the standard of righteousness (Gal. 3:21 ). The law cannot empower us to transform character it serves only to diagnose behavior. Christ is the only one who can transform us. He is law made flesh and represents it in its completeness ( Rom. 10:4 ).
We can truly understand why the legal systems of the world fail in making society better. It is because they focus on behavior correction rather than character transformation. A person will go to prison for ten years for a crime they have committed. When they are released, they are less inclined to repeat the crime because they fear being punished again.
They have not as yet had a heart transformation. They may indeed still retain the same desires to commit the crime but are held in check by fear ( Heb. 2:15 ). This is how earthly societies maintain law and order! Is it no wonder the world is becoming more unsafe every day? Men and women minds are filled with evil intent and it is only fear that keeps them from going overboard. Isn’t this is a terrible foundation and model that society is built on ( John 3:20 )?
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. - John 3:20
The kingdom of God, however, is different. Each citizen of that kingdom has been born again ( John 3:5-6 ). They have had a heart transformation by Christ and empowered by His Spirit to live godly ( Rom. 8:1-2 ). As we have seen above, fear is a terrible motivator for any action. It is love that is needed for godly living ( 1 John 4:18 ).
Those who have been sanctified do not commit evil deeds because their characters have been changed and they are now motivated by God's love to be selfless ( Rom. 15:2 ). We can feel safe in God's kingdom because every person is looking out for the good of the other. Every action is prompted by godly love not human fear ( Isa. 65:17-18, 25 ).
This is the kingdom that God has called us to and has asked us to promote, not just by declaration in speaking but by demonstration in our life. Our lives are the best billboard for the Kingdom of God ( 1 Pet. 2:12 ). There are many out there that long to feel safe again; they long for peace of mind. The world doesn't need more human laws or police cars nor security infrastructure. The world needs Jesus.
These two systems operate on two different principles that are diametrically opposed to each other. Therefore they would be at enmity with each other ( Gal. 4:29 ). Those who truly demonstrate God's kingdom principles will have great struggles in this world of imposed laws. God’s Word has told us those who live godly in this world will suffer persecution ( 2 Tim. 3:12 ).
Why must we rightly understand this morality subject? Men ideas are constantly changing, for what is legal today may just be illegal tomorrow and vice versa. Today it is generally permissible to worship to the dictates of one's conscience. But soon there will be a change!
Sunday sacredness which goes against scripture will become a moral and ethical issue. For it will be said (and it has already begun) that not holding to Sunday as a sacred day is immoral for it hinders the "healing" humanity needs. We must know, that we cannot heal humanity woes by going against God's clearly stated requirements in His Word.
Today linked with Sunday sacredness is the climate change movement, which seeks to heal nature, and labor unions, who advocate for a day of rest for workers and machinery. They think that by promoting family togetherness, rest and recuperation in this way, society's healing would be accomplished. But hasn't God's word declared the holy seventh day Sabbath to do this very work ( Gen. 2:1-3 )?
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. - Gen. 2:1-3
Men are putting aside God's word for their own. Soon nature would be universally elevated to deity status and all who violate its day (Sunday) will be prosecuted as criminals ( John 16:2 )! This issue will come to every man, woman and child personally. We at that time will have to choose. God's way or man's way.
It is now time to draw close to God ( **James 4:8 **). Now is the time to seek His kingdom and righteousness ( Matt. 6:33 ). May God keep us vigilant to these issues and that we remain firm in the Word of God and not bend to the dictates of men ( Matt. 15:9 ).