Never Good Enough or Never Bad Enough
Yesterday, I offered some brief thoughts on grace vs. karma. Today, I will finish those thoughts and consider two key issues to will help understand God’s grace in salvation.
- You can never be good enough to earn salvation since it is of God’s grace.
- You can never be bad enough to be ineligible for salvation since it is of God’s grace.
Never Good Enough
Concerning salvation, as good as we think we are in our own eyes, we can never be good enough in God’s sight. The book of James (2:10-11) tells us if we break any one of God’s laws that we are guilty of breaking all of them. We are guilty not only in our actions, but we sin against God in our thoughts and intentions as well. As Jesus said (Matt. 5:27) even if we only lust in our hearts we are guilty of adultery. Being good enough to merit salvation would mean being perfect. Since God doesn’t grade on a curve you could be 99% perfect and 1% imperfect and you would be 100% guilty. God’s righteousness demands perfection.
Think for a moment. Do you find perfection in yourself? Have you ever? Do you always? This is why we must rely on Jesus to save us. In Him alone we find perfection, forever and always. He kept all of God’s laws perfectly without even a sinful thought. We have much more than one sinful thought. We need God’s grace. As the Bible tells us, we are saved by grace through faith not because of our works. Not only can our good works not save us, but our bad works cannot exclude us. We bring nothing to salvation, but the sin that makes it necessary.
Never Bad Enough
The other side of this scenario is the attitude that some people have done such bad things they are beyond God’s ability and willingness to save them. They believe they are are ineligible to be saved. Some people get so beaten down and so hard on themselves that they give up. They believe that God would not save a person like them. Sometimes we Christians add to this belief by being so condemning practically forgetting about God’s grace. Such an attitude is a form of self-righteousness that manifests itself in comparing ourselves to others. We forget that we all fall short of God’s requirements. Remember, except for Jesus, we are all 100% guilty.
If anyone was ineligible to be saved by God it would have been the Apostle Paul who was guilty of murdering Christians. Yet, in chapter 9 in the book of Acts, during the very time he was seeking to kill Christians, Jesus saved him. Not only did God use Paul to write most of the New Testament, but he was killed because of his service to Jesus. No one is excluded from salvation because it is by God’s grace not, not works.
Finally, if karma is considered as a way to God and goodness, we would never know if we were good enough and would have no basis upon which to judge our goodness. Therefore, grace trumps karma. And as we consider both sides of our lives, the good and the bad, remember God’s grace in our own lives as we share Jesus with others. Remember these two basic points that because of God’s grace 1) You can never be good enough to earn salvation and 2) You can never be bad enough to be excluded from salvation. God’s grace in salvation is that all who believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross taking punishment for their sins, and then rose from the dead will, be saved and have eternal life with God.
Grace and peace,
About Mark Lamprecht
Mark is a Jesus follower and a Southern Baptist minister writing, preaching, and teaching to encourage believers. He lives in Metro-Atlanta with his wife, a daughter close-by in college, and a house full of dogs. He is available for pulpit supply and is seeking a full-time ministry position. He also founded Pulpit Supply Preachers ministry. Read more...