A Bottom Line Message from the Codes: |
Your Good Works Cannot Save You.
Only God Can.
Repeatedly, we have seen that Bible codes affirm God's authorship of the Bible, and they typically echo the surface text. In these ways, codes should encourage us to more closely study the surface text. In this article, we examine some scriptures about good works and salvation found in the Old Testament.
Our Good Works: Can They Save Us?
We can go through life feeling pretty good about ourselves. When we donate time or money to a good cause, or maybe we do a good deed for a neighbor, then we feel great at the end of the day. We are able to sleep peacefully, because we feel like we have done something fine. But Isaiah had something else to say about that:
But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us, and have consumed us because of our iniquities.
(Isaiah 64: 6-7)
Many people believe that on the day of judgment, God will let them into heaven because their good deeds outweigh their bad ones. But the Bible tells us that even our "good" deeds are filthy rags in His eyes. Since that is true, how can anyone hope to enter heaven?
You might say, "Surely that doesn't apply to me!" Yet, in the above passage, "all" is used three times, and it also says that "there is no one who calls on" God. All means all. Consider Isaiah 53:6,
All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.
The truth is that we all need a good scrubbing. We must turn to God in humility and repentance and have Him thoroughly cleanse us.
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight — that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge. (Psalm 51:1-3)
"Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
For great is Your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. (Psalm 86:13)
God is the only one who can wash away the very tainted nature of both our good and our bad deeds, and clothe us in righteousness. God is the only one who can bring good from our works.
Just how do we take that great bath? Before God called him Abraham, God and Abram had a conversation about Abram's descendents, before he had any children. Abram's faith demonstrated just how to take a bath. Believe.
Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:5-6)
In God alone, do we find salvation.
But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble. (Psalm 37:39)
So, we've had a good bath and put on clean clothes. Now what?
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Our God is the God of salvation; and to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.
The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father's God, and I will exalt Him. (Exodus 15:2)
Sounds pretty great . . . daily loads of God's benefits, strength, and uplifting music too!
So, where do we go from here?
Preach, Heal and Proclaim
When you have received wonderful benefits and strength, and have a song in your heart, you just have to share it.
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."
Though this scripture may mean different things to Jews and Christians, it is an unmistakable call to share God's salvation, love and mercy with others.
All scripture quotations have been taken from the New King James Version (NKJV)
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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