This One Quote Captures the Essence of the Gospel and is SO Encouraging.
Let me give you the quote and then share a few thoughts as to why it is so powerful. It comes from Martin Luther:
“When I look at myself, I think how can I ever be saved? When I look at Christ, I think, how can I not be?”
1. We Humans Can Never Be Good Enough to “Save” Ourselves and Be Reconciled to a Sinless God Through Our Own Efforts
The Great News of Jesus, the Gospel, emphasizes that we will never be good enough through our own efforts or virtues to have eternal life, have a relationship with God, or go to heaven.
The Bible teaches that we are lost and spiritually dead. (Luke 19:10, Ephesians 2:1–2) We have all broken God’s life laws tens of thousands of times and just one sin, one time breaking a life law results in spiritual death, followed eventually by physical death. (Romans 3:23, 6:23).
It is a spiritual law and is one of the main reasons God lovingly warns us to stay away from it. Anything that is contrary to God’s nature and words eventually produces death (spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, relationally).
Even now, after decades of following Jesus, when I see how much I have thoughts, words, and actions that are not Christlike; when I focus on my many sins and shortcomings, it’s easy to feel condemned and hopeless in living a God-pleasing life. I see how I could never be saved.
Just one sin releases the death sequence in us and just one sin is enough to keep us out of a perfect heaven and block us from having a relationship with an absolute holy God.
“When I look at myself, I think, how could I ever be saved?”
But the point of the Gospel is, I don’t look at myself for eternal life, relationship with God, or heaven. The Gospel SHOUTS to us….
2. FOCUS ON CHRIST
The entire focus of the Gospel is the greatness of Jesus and how much God loves us and desires the very best for us.
“I came that they would have life and have it abundantly, to the full, overflowing.” (John 10:10b)
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)
Jesus is perfect in holiness, love, and righteousness.
1 John 1:5 says that “He is light and in Him there is NO darkness.”
Jesus, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, is the creator of the world and the one who keeps it going. (Hebrews 1:2–4)
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, He is the beginning and the end and everything in between.
He is so much greater than our minds can yet comprehend.
3. Who Jesus is and What He Accomplished are Perfect
What He accomplished through His sacrificial death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven was so powerful, so complete, that when we put our faith in Him (not our own goodness); God does in us what we could never do.
He makes us new creations.
He grants us His own righteousness, holiness, and cleansing as a GIFT.
We don’t have to try to be good enough, we don’t have to struggle to earn our way to heaven. We don’t have to do enough good works to outweigh the bad.
Eternal life is a gift of God’s grace, released in and through Jesus, and we receive it as a love expression by faith.
When we focus on Him and what He has accomplished, how great He is, and the amazing love He has for us, THEN our entire outlook changes.
So when we focus on Him, His greatness, His power, His love, and the free gift of salvation He offers us, then we too can say,
“How can I not be saved?”
Whenever I start feeling that I’m not much of a Christian. When I see how far short I come living like Jesus in my thoughts, words, and actions. When I look at my level of goodness, love, or holiness. Then yes, I think, “how can I ever be saved?”
But that is not the Biblical focus.
The more we focus on the greatness of Jesus, the more we open our souls to Him and yield our lives to Him, the more He comes in by His Spirit and Word and does what we can never do.
The more I focus on what He accomplished through His life, death, and resurrection, the more I too think
“How can I not be saved?”
When I focus on Him, I am SOOOOOO encouraged. The pilot light of Holy Spirit given faith, hope, and fresh dedication to living His way goes from flickering to strong flame.
It really is life-changing!
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