What Shall I do to Inherit Eternal Life?

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What Shall I do to Inherit Eternal Life?

The greatest question is, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

God’s standard for earning our way to heaven involves perfect love for God and perfect love for other people.  If we did those things perfectly, we would not need any other rules.  In fact, all the other commandments in the scripture are simply explanations of what is involved to carry out those two over-arching principles in real life.

The problem is that naturally every person sees someone in need and says, “I don’t want to get involved.  Not today.  Someone else should help them.  I’m in a hurry.”  In doing so, we must confess that we do not always love other people perfectly.  We don’t stop and help every single time we see a needy person.

If loving your neighbor as yourself is a requirement for heaven, then your good deeds fall desperately short of God’s standard of perfection!  We’ve all done a few generous things for a few people on a few occasions in our lives, but all the time?  I can’t say that I show this kind of sacrificial love to other people very often.  Do you?  Probably not.

We all fall short of loving God and our neighbors perfectly.  The law demands perfection and every time we gaze into perfection, it causes us to come undone!  If salvation requires perfection then we are doomed!  We need a Savior.

Jesus is the only one who was able to perfectly fulfill what the law demanded of Him.  Romans 8:3-4 says, “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

  • If I stand before God in my own righteousness, He’ll throw the book at me.  But…
  • If I stand before God clothed in Christ’s righteousness, then His perfection is more than enough.

Today is the day that once and for all, you can stop trying to earn your own way into heaven and surrender your life to Jesus instead.  If you are relying on anything other than Jesus for your eternal life then now is the time to confess your sins and trust in Jesus as Savior and King.

Mark Stafford

Senior Pastor
By |2016-11-07T20:10:35+00:00October 26th, 2016|Blog Posts, New Testament, Romans|2 Comments

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  1. Mark Tichenor October 29, 2016 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    As I read this is was wondering when you would get to the answer that there is nothing I can do. I caused Jesus’s death because he loved me and nothing else can save me.

    • Mark Stafford October 30, 2016 at 6:19 am - Reply

      Mark, I appreciate the question. If I understand you question, I’m going to address the answer this morning in church.

      The hard reality behind our total depravity is that we can’t do enough good works to earn our way into heaven. But the good news of the gospel is that Jesus took on the consequences of our sins for us and extends the gift of salvation to those who receive His offer of salvation and follow Him as Lord. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

      Some people are confused by the process. They’ll ask, “What exactly is it to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord?”

      • It begins with coming to grips with that fact that we can’t earn our way to heaven. God’s standard requires perfect love for people and perfect love for Him. He requires total purity. We all fall short and therefore we can’t earn our way to heaven

      • But, God is perfectly just and perfectly merciful. In His justice, He can’t overlook sin. Our sin rightly invites God’s wrath upon us. In His mercy, His love for the sinner compelled Him to offer us an option to have our sins paid for. That’s where Jesus comes into the picture.

      • Jesus took on the punishment for our sin on the cross. God poured out His wrath for our sins on His own Son so that He didn’t have to pour it out on us.

      • To believe in Jesus is to trust in Him. Some Christians call this “faith.” It is the truth behind Romans 1:16-17 that says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” (By the way, this was the verse that started the Protestant Reformation)

      • Faith is relying completely on Him and his finished work on the cross instead of relying on our own works.

      • Saving faith stops trying to be good enough in your own efforts and receives a new life from Jesus. This new life has Jesus at the center as Lord. He saves us from the consequences of our sins and he wants to help us avoid the bondage of sin in the future.

      Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

      I hope that makes it more clear.

      We learn more about what it mean to make Jesus the center and Lord of our lives at church, so we’d love to have you join us sometime. We love the scriptures and really dig into God’s Word at Canyon. God Bless!

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