Your final wonderment might be: why would God make it so hard for us to enter into the kingdom of heaven? Has He imposed on us a standard just for us to fail? Yes. He made it so that we will always fall short.
To be sure, He did not “Raise the bar” beyond His actual standard, nor did He do it so that we will all be damned. There is an important reason why which can never be underscored enough:
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. – Romans 3
The reason why God must bring us to utter hopelessness is to have us understand that we need a savior, for we cannot save ourselves.
Now God’s standards have never changed; for those who enter heaven, must be worthy of it (Psalms 24:3-5 & Romans 2:6-7), but the scriptures clearly evidenced that none of us are, for we are sinners by nature (Genesis 8:21 & Romans 8:6-7).
The Great Dilemma
With that fact, The Great Dilemma in all scripture appears: how can God be just but at the same time justifies (declare righteous) the wicked? For if God were to do that, He would Himself be unjust (Proverbs 17:15), and that is by His nature a sheer impossibility (Psalms 136:1 & Malachi 3:6).
His goodness requires removal of and elimination of evil; He cannot allow sinners into His presence (Psalms 5:4-5). His goodness also demands justice against the evil-doer; the price for sin must be paid.
In judgment He will cast the guilty to the Lake of Fire which achieves both ends (Revelations 20:12-15). There s/he will not escape and there will s/he pay for his/her sins for all eternity (Matthew 25:41-46 & Luke 16:26).
Jesus was meant to save you — not you
However, in His goodness He also loves us. He loves us so much that He sent His Son down on our behalf. Jesus is the answer to the great perplexing theological dilemma. God sent His son down to become the propitiation for sins which satisfies the justice of God (Romans 3:25 & 2 Corinthians 5:21), and He lives in us (Galatians 2:20) so that when God see us, He sees His righteous Son.
It is His righteousness that is in us God will grants entry into His kingdom. Those who repent of their sins, and believe/trust Christ alone for their salvation are the ones going to heaven (Mark 1:15 & John 5:24). It is not by works at all but by His grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). When we believe, we receive a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17); we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:16-18). Christ lives in us.
He does such a work in us that when we die, we will enter into heaven, faultless before Him (Jude 1:24). This does not mean we will achieve moral perfection or completeness as we will always sin and fall short (Romans 7:19-25); but as we live, we be conformed to the image of Christ.
We will be tested (Romans 5:2-5), pruned (John 15:1-2), and molded (Hebrews 12:6-8) to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).
For those who believe that Faith Alone is not enough
Jesus has paid such a price for our salvation that anyone who attempts to reach the kingdom of God apart from Him will not succeed; and to say that you also trust in Him as you “Work in cooperation with His grace” missed the entire point.
We cannot earn our salvation for it is inhumanly impossible for all the aforementioned reasons, and God will not help you when He made it perfectly clear that no one will be justified by the law. Even if you pair it with faith.
Jesus came, suffered and died so He can set us free from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:10-13), and so for you to not trust Him entirely for your salvation has denigrated His sacrifice (Galatians 2:21).
Either you trust Christ alone for your salvation, or keep all of the commandments against the grain of your fallen nature (Romans 2:14-16, 5:12-14, & James 4:17). Please choose Christ, only He can save you.
1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. – Romans 4
4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. – Galatians 5:4
A Protestant Christian whose mission is to defend the Gospel, the fundamentals of the Faith, and to reach the lost for their salvation.
The Icon that I'm using conveys multiple purposes of a Christian believer.
The sword represents our mission to evangelize; not through force of arms, but through the truth of the word of God (Psalm 19:7-9). The shield represents our obligation to defend the truths of the scriptures and the confessions of the faith (1 Peter 3:15). Lastly, the wings represents the grace, love, gentleness, and care we must show and give to each other as brothers and sisters in the Lord, and everyone else around us - to the righteous and to the unrighteous - as God has loved us (Ephesians 2:2-3 & 1 John 4:19).
Sword Shield FreeImg.com https://freepngimg.com/png/32238-sword-shield/icon
View more posts
5 thoughts on “Why Good Works Will Never Save You (Part 2-2): The Great Dilemma & The Solution To.”
Thanks for the good two-part post! The unsaved religionist just can’t wrap his/her head around salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you! I do hope that by my writing will make a difference. And yes, only God can open their heads.
Btw, you must be Reformed, so am I!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I would say I’m a Reformed-leaning Baptist!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Very good;, but what’s stopping you from becoming fully Reformed? 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
I started out as a new believer forty years ago at an independent fundamental Baptist church, which was outspokenly anti-Calvinist. I’ve read and heard from many Calvinists since then. Both Calvinists and Arminianists cite Scripture passages to support their viewpoint and the debate has been ongoing for 410 years. I’m comfortable being in the theological middle of both camps although I do lean more towards Calvinism. The Arminian doctrine that genuine believers can lose their salvation would seem to involve a degree of works-righteousness.
I’m not a fan of Richard Land because of his outspoken support of ecumenism with Rome, but his article below on why he’s only a ‘three-and-a-quarter pointer’ Calvinist would somewhat describe my own position: