Jesus Saves! He said, “It is finished.” And bowing His head He gave up His Spirit. John 19:30
If wealth were the way all earth could not pay the price to save a man’s soul.
The idea that sinful man can be saved, that is, can be forgiven of his sins and be put in a place of acceptance before the divine Presence is the height of mankind’s hope. When considering how man can attain this place before God there are basically two possible answers. One is that man can somehow attain to this place and save Himself. The other is that man is totally incapable of such attainment and that only Christ can save us. And according to the Bible, and that is our only source of authoritative truth, it is as simple as this. Jesus saves!
When we consider what it means to be in a place of acceptance before a holy God who “dwells in unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16) we are talking about the need for righteousness. The only way a holy God can accept us is when we are righteous and without sin. God cannot look favorably upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13) and the Bible is clear, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). So if we are to be accepted by a holy God we must somehow become righteous. And to be righteous does not mean that we do the best we can (and who even does that?) it means to be sinless and holy even as God is holy.
In our sin we fall short and miss the mark of perfection and righteousness leaving us unable to remedy our situation. Even if one was able to stop sinning today and never sin again, which is quite impossible, even then one would have to ask, “What about the sin I have already committed?” This is quite a dilemma, is it not?
This is why the idea that man can save himself is a futile thought. This is also why God in love had to send a Savior...someone who could do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Jesus went to the cross to do the work necessary to make us righteous and He finished that work. Consider the wonderful truth of 2 Corinthians 5:21
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
First consider that Christ was made sin for us. The prophet Isaiah said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). In taking our sin upon Himself Jesus was then “Smitten by God and afflicted...wounded for our transgressions...crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:4-5). This means that God’s wrath for sin was poured out on Jesus and all of His righteous requirements for the punishment of sin was satisfied. His justice being satisfied by the sacrifice and death of His Son God was now free to offer mercy to sinners—mercy to forgive their sins!
Consider secondly that not only was Christ “made to be sin” but “we become righteous.” God gives the sinner a place of acceptance by making him righteous. We could summarize it this way, “Jesus took the blame for all my wrong and I get credit for all of His righteousness.” I am made righteous by the One who said, “It is finished.” That’s love. That’s grace.
This is good news indeed for all us sinners! God has graciously provided for our salvation. But we must stop our attempts to gain a place of acceptance before Him. We must stop doing insult to the work of Christ on our behalf. We must humble ourselves, admit our sin and put trust in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
You can never save yourself. So believe the simple yet profound truth—Jesus saves!