Christ is all we need

Christ is all we need.I was reading this past week in Romans and Galatians preparing for our Sunday morning bible study. As I sat down to write this devotional, those passages I read reminded me that I am a sinner and fall so short of the glory of God. In fact, this passage in Romans says all of us are sinners who fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23). This means that no matter who we are, no number of good deeds or religious practices can ever erase the sin that separates us from Him.

But there is Good News. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth and died on the cross for our sins - mine and yours. His death and resurrection offer us the only way to obtain salvation and eternal life. This is the essence of the gospel – that through faith alone, in Christ alone, we can be forgiven and reconciled to God.

The apostle Paul presents the Good News this way, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our good deeds cannot save us, but only faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, the idea that I can’t earn my way to heaven can be a hard concept. We’d like to believe if the good we do outweighs the bad we do, that’s all that matters. The two scriptures we just read paint a different picture.

The cross is a symbol of God's love for us. Jesus willingly suffered and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. He took the punishment we deserved and made a way for us to be reconciled to God. This is the gospel of grace. It’s the gospel of the early church and because it’s origins we’re from God, it is trustworthy and just as relevant today.
But what about those who were living under the Law of Moses? Didn’t God provide significant instruction on how to offer sacrifices for sin? The contrast between faith in Christ alone for salvation and the works of the Old Testament law was a significant topic in the early church. (Read Galatians)

In the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites the law through Moses, which included many commandments, rituals, and sacrifices. These works of the law were external actions, such as circumcision, dietary laws, and Sabbath observance. The purpose of the law was to show people their sin and point them to God (Galatians 3:24). The law also served as a covenant between God and His chosen people.

However, the law could not save anyone. No one could keep all of the commandments perfectly, and the sacrifices were only temporary solutions for sin, not able to take sin away (Hebrews 10:4). The law showed people their need for a Savior who could offer true forgiveness and salvation. Thus, the need for Jesus to come and set us free “from the law of sin and death”. (Romans 8:1-2)

In his letters, the apostle Paul continually emphasized the importance of faith in Christ alone for salvation, over the works of the law. In Romans 3:28, he wrote, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Faith, on the other hand, is an inward trust in God and His promises. As Paul wrote in Galatians 2:16, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

Jesus' death on the cross is all we need. Our salvation is not based on our efforts or good deeds, nor is it based on keeping ritual law but on the finished work of Christ. We simply need to place our faith in Him and receive the gift of salvation.

Sitting here a few weeks removed from Palm Sunday makes me reflect on how Jesus entered Jerusalem, just as the prophet Zechariah said He would: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." Zechariah 9:9

Jesus was riding into the city to His death, and He knew it, but "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

So, what do we do about this Jesus? Our response can only be surrender!

So, this week reflect on the cross and remember the depth of God's love for us. Reflect on the fact that our good deeds, while important to show our obedience, cannot save us. Reflect on how He sees our weaknesses and knows we cannot merit salvation by any means other than the gospel of grace we have in Christ.Then sing, worthy is the Lamb who was slain! Blessings to all.
Credit: Ron Kelley

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