AM I Good Enough?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Suppose you were to die, and you found yourself face to face with God, and He asked you, “Why should I let you into heaven with me?” What would your answer be?
 
We have surveyed many people with this question. Though it can be answered a thousand ways, every response falls into two basic categories. In fact, more than nine out of ten are basically the same.
 
Most people’s answers focus on their own merit. We try to find something in ourselves that might redeem us. We might look at good things we might have done, at our motives and intentions, or our desires. We might compare ourselves with others or look at things we didn’t do or temptations we resisted; good deeds, generous thoughts, religious acts  etc. “I never tried to hurt anyone.” “I tried to do my best.” I kept the golden rule.” ” I never murdered anyone.” “Even though I’ve done things I’m ashamed of, I didn’t mean to do wrong.”  “I am a product of my environment.”
 
But who can measure up to God’s standard? Very few people face the truth that compared to God, who is Holy, perfectly loving, and who is perfect Light, we are not able to come into His presence. Very few people acknowledge the deep depravity the hides within the human heart.
 
The truth is that human history proves beyond doubt, what God’s word says about us,“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” The worst evil in human history is committed consistently by average ordinary people. The worst obscenities in human history are repeated over and over again, as a whole, by people from all walks of life who loved their wives and kids, and cried when their pets died. Given the right circumstances, the right conditioning, the right culture, any of us could have been guards in the concentration camps. This is what Jesus said about you and me.
 
“For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.”
— Mark 7:21-23
 
That’s why we need him; not just to forgive us, not just to bear our punishment in our place only, but to change our hearts. The Old Testament promised that one day He would come to do exactly that!
 
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
— Ezekiel 36:25-27
 
That’s exactly what Jesus does for us when we come to him — in grace — freely and totally undeserved!
 
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world… All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
— Ephesians 2:1-10
 
The good news of Jesus is that when we trust him, he forgives us and makes us new — inside! Good works can’t save us, but when He saves us good works come as a result of that change!