Tuesday – Show Me the Door

By George Volpe

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10

   Every so often we are warned about a food recall. Contamination has occurred and some food should not be eaten. People who eat the contaminated food get sick and sometimes die. All it takes is one mouthful of tainted food, and disaster strikes. You can have lots of perfectly good food in your house and eat just one contaminated morsel, and you put yourself in danger. Imagining that it is safe will not work.

   In the same way, you can keep a list of lots of perfectly good deeds you’ve done and reason that you’ve done enough “good” in your life to “offset” the bad. Some people like to think that such an imaginary exchange entitles them to a free pass into Heaven. They haven’t killed anybody, embezzled millions, or starved their children. Surely people as kind as they are “deserve” eternal life.

   The problem is they have invented a man-made standard of what they think is good or bad, when they have no heavenly right to do so. The standard for good and evil is not comparing my life with others. God is the creator and He alone defines what is good. The truth is, none of us is “good” by God’s standard. Only God is truly good. All of us are sinners. No one can cleanse his own sinful soul by doing or thinking anything. All the nice things in the universe cannot atone for even one sin.

   In Mark 10 the rich young ruler felt he was good enough to deserve eternal life. He approached Jesus in an attempt to justify his standing with God. Like many upstanding people trying to do the right thing, he misunderstood his condition before God. He was hoping that his good works and religious standing were enough to justify the salvation of his soul.

   In His conversation with the rich young ruler, Christ was not teaching that we are saved by keeping the commandments. When the man stated he had kept the commandments, Jesus simply showed him that in reality he did not measure up to God’s perfect standard.

   The man was not willing to follow the Lord if that meant he must give up his wealth. He was breaking the two greatest commands; he did not love his neighbor as himself, and he did not love the Lord with all his heart. He loved himself (and his money) more. Far from keeping “all” the commandments, as he had claimed, this man was a sinner like everyone else. The Law proved it.

   Jesus alone is salvation. He is the Door to Heaven. He is God’s great gift of love to mankind.

   Read Romans Chapter 5.

Bible Reading Plan - Day 132

2 Cor 3-4

Ps 105:1–10

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