What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” Romans 9:30-33
Whenever you encounter a set of rules that you have to follow in order to get into heaven, run. Run in the opposite direction and run as fast as you can back to Jesus. Salvation is not obtained by following rules, twelve step programs or doing certain things. It is only obtained by faith. The first century Jews were great at following rules. In fact they were proud of how they obeyed the law. They were so caught up in following the letter of the law that they missed out on the greatest gift the world has ever known. They put their faith in the law rather than in God. They leaned on their own understanding of the law and God’s word that they forgot to lean on God.
The Jews then and many Christians today think that if they will just follow the rules then they will get into heaven. The rules eventually replace a relationship with God. So busy are they following rules and keeping score that they lose out on the joy of a relationship with God. Don’t get me wrong, as Christians there are things we should do. We need to pray, to do good works, to follow Gods commandments, but we should do these things and other things not because they will get us into heaven but because we love God. We do them to please Him but not to earn salvation.
Salvation is a free gift from God. We could not earn it no matter how hard we tried. It is unobtainable by any way except from God as His gift to us for placing our faith in Him. We are saved by faith. Faith is the only way and there is no other way that faith in God. Unless we place out faith in Christ we are lost. All out good works and all our following the rules are for naught.
Almost five hundred years ago Martin Luther wrote that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. We are to give glory to God alone and God’s word stands alone, no writings of man or traditions should be set equal to God’s word.
God knows that we will stumble and fall, that is why He did all the work. All we have to do is accept His work and have faith in Him.
Have a blessed day,