Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why "Doing Good" Isn't the Gospel

I grew up in church. I got saved at the age of seven. The majority of my life I've been a Christian, but I missed the big picture. Badly.

I lived years and years of legalism. I lived years of trying to do good and be good. I thought if I did what Jesus said "do" and avoided what Jesus said "don't" then I would become closer to Him. But if my faith is all based on what I do and don't do, then I'm no closer to God than the murderer doing life in prison.

Because let's face it. I will never be good enough to be Christs' daughter. But that's okay. Because my salvation isn't based on my goodness, but His. It's not based on what I do, but what He did. My salvation is not based on who I am, but who He is. 

When we live by a works-based salvation, we try to elevate ourselves to the position of Jesus. We think we can do good enough, be good enough, be righteous enough.

For years I thought I was better than everyone else because I was really good at doing what He said "do", and avoiding everything he said "don't." And I tried my best to be good, and to do everything He commanded {except maybe the things I didn't want to do}, and then I got pregnant at 17. 

As my whole life changed in one doctor's sentence, I began to realize Jesus isn't after my good works. Don't get me wrong, when our lives have been transformed, we should be bearing fruit. But my actions don't matter unless Jesus has my heart. 

I will never be good enough for Jesus, but He knew that from the beginning. He knew I'd fall short of His glory and He knew He'd have to come rescue me from myself. Jesus' death wasn't a reaction to my sin, it was His plan from the beginning.

For years I spent my Christian walk thinking that I could be good and just obey God's law. I thought that morality was the way to be God's daughter. But apart from God changing and transforming our hearts, we can't be good. We can't obey. We're not moral enough, we're not disciplined enough. Jesus' mission is not about me being good or following a bunch of rules. His mission is grace and righteousness. Because only when we let Jesus transform our hearts will our behavior and obedience line up with His will.

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