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Your Only Qualification for Heaven is Christ and Him Crucified. Everything Else is Works

As I was driving in to work today, I was thinking of the reasons people gave for leaving church. Some of them I rejoiced in (the family member I have been praying for got plugged in to their home church!), while others I lamented. Some of those reasons were “the people didn’t treat me well,” or “I wasn’t getting fed there,” or “the music,” or “the air conditioning,” or “the atmosphere,” or a plethora of other aesthetic or atmospheric reasons. I also thought of things people of other congregations have said about church; it’s been a bit crazy. “We’re the only ones who get it right,” “They don’t do it the way my parents/grandparents taught,” (I’ve heard several preachers repeat that one when bringing up a Biblical principle for reform in a church), “You put too much/too little emphasis on works,” and so many other similar platitudes.


Loved ones, Scripture makes it clear: we’re saved by Grace through Faith. We’re saved by Christ’s finished work on the cross. We’re saved FOR good works and not BY good works. Good Works are a FRUIT (byproduct) of salvation, and we do so out of love and gratitude for what Christ has done for us. If you come to the Church or leave a congregation because of your needs not being met, it’s a pride issue on your part. Don’t get me wrong, congregations and individual members of the Church (some I wonder about) have done and said hurtful things, but we’re not to look to people for our salvation, we’re to look toward Jesus. It’s time, then, to let go of our pride, because that is what it is, and get back to the word of God, not diluted by tradition, but interpreted by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Our ticket to heaven isn’t based on our perception, nor is it based on how well we did Church; It’s based on the finished work of Jesus on the Cross and is confirmed by His resurrection from the dead. If that is not enough for you, examine your heart and compare it to the Scriptures.


Ephesians 2


And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


One in Christ


Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

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