"And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, 'Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
Man's Need to Please
This is the question that all mankind is asking God. Whether we claim to know God by a religious belief system or are an atheist, in every human heart is an understanding that there is a "greater good" out there that we are accountable to. This may seem like a far fetched statement, but the fact is that no one can deny the numerous examples over human history that point to man's need to please or live for this "greater good". Whether it is a soldier who gives their life for the "greater good" of national freedom or a Buddhist monk during the Vietnam War who sets himself ablaze for the "greater good" of religious freedom. We all have this mentality that needs to please.
Is Enough Really Enough?
From a Christian perspective we realize that trying to please God is impossible for man on their own. "What shall I do" is a question that can never be answered in man's power. God is not satisfied by man's effort, or works. We know this most fundamentally as Christians because there would of been no need of Jesus coming to give His life on a cross as a sacrifice for sin if God was pleased with mankind and what we had to offer Him. But also, on a broader scope or from a universal perspective, all of us realize at some level that our works don't completely satisfy our desires. Meaning that enough never seems to be enough. The new and shiny becomes dull and rusty. We are all desiring eternal satisfaction, or life.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is in Ecclesiastes 3:11, God says in His Word that "He has put eternity into man's heart". This shows us that every person was created for a greater purpose than just this earthly existence. We were created by God as eternal beings and yearn to make a difference to that end. Unfortunately, because of sin, or breaking God's law, man has fallen short of God and distorted the eternal. We now feel the need to fix that, but in all our efforts or works we can not. This is why grace is so important to understanding how to inherit eternal life and ultimately ask the right question.
If I can't work my way to God how will God ever be pleased with me? How will I obtain eternal life? This is where grace comes in. And grace asks a different question. Grace asks not "what shall I do", but "what can God do". Since mankind could not work his/her way to God it then became a matter of God satisfying His own wrath and judgement. And the only thing that could satisfy a perfect, holy, and righteous God is to offer a sacrifice that was just as perfect, holy, and righteous. This is where Jesus comes in. The picture and image of grace to us. He became that perfect, sinless sacrifice for mankind by dying on the cross and giving His blood. God says in His Word, "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin." God gave His own Son to "become sin for us." (2 Corinthians 5:21) This is grace. And the only way to get it right with God is to trade your life for Jesus'.
Have you given up on trying to work your way to God? Have you discovered new life in Jesus? Works will leave you tired, helpless, hopeless, critical, feeling like a failure, short-sighted, and most importantly, left to yourself in your own sin, eternally separated from God. Grace will give you hope, faith, love, compassion, forgiveness, an eternal perspective, and an everlasting joy that can only come through Jesus Christ.
If you need Jesus today call us @ 910-892-5772 and we will show you the way to Him. It is the ONLY decision that ultimately matters in life.