We are all in danger of putting our faith in ourselves. We live a pretty good life. We’re here in America, living a blessed life, working hard, raising families, and even going to church.
We have every version of the Bible on our phones. We know how to speak the Christian language. We look really nice on the outside.
I don’t think anyone would ever say this out loud, but subconsciously, many of us wonder, is there really anything I need to be saved from? Life is good. I got this.
Plus, when we compare our lives to the rest of humanity, we are good people. Isn’t that what God is looking for as the requirement to enter heaven? Isn’t He going to compare us to each other and let the ones who were better than the rest come on in?
Pride is a sneaky little booger. It always convinces us that we aren’t prideful. But the reality is, any time we boast about ourselves, it’s pride. Let me give you a few hidden examples.
If you think that since you pray more, or read the Bible more, or fast more you have an edge over others in the church, that’s not righteousness. It’s pride.
If you find yourself impressed with your ability to operate in spiritual gifts, God is not impressed. If you find yourself impressed with your ability to reach the lost, God is not impressed.
If you are upset that the church hasn’t caught up to the same spiritual revelation you have, that’s not righteous anger. It’s prideful anger.
We are so good at elevating ourselves that we read the Bible and think, “Yes! I can do all of this myself.” What we fail to realize is that many of the New Testament promises are addressed to the church as a group, not to you individually.
In other words, these promises don’t belong to you. They belong to the church. And you only get to partake when you are a part of the church. Let me give you an example.
The Purpose of the Church
Ephesians 3:20 NLT – Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
His mighty power at work within who? Not you, but us. The church, as a united group. We only accomplish infinitely more when we come together and all allow God’s power to work in us.
Are you seeing this? You are going to read the Bible differently after today. No longer will you erroneously translate the word “we” to “me.”
The only reason we do it to begin with is because the world has trained us to think that way. But now you are no longer conformed to the world in that area. You’ve been transformed by the Word of God today.
If nothing else, we need to be saved from self. We need freedom from pride and self-righteousness.
We need to be saved from SELF
Your entrance to heaven is not determined by how good you are. I mean, get real with yourself. Do you really think your goodness stands a chance against the perfection of God?
None of us can measure up to the glory of God. Even the nicest and best-behaving person doesn’t stand a chance against the glorious presence of God. No one measures up.
But thank God, hell is not the destination for those who belong to Christ Jesus. In exchange for sin and eternal death, Jesus has given us freedom and eternal life.
The Ten Commandments and the Old Testament law were unable to save us. It told us exactly what to do; we just couldn’t pull it off because of our own weakness.
So God looked at us in our struggle and, with great compassion, sent His own Son to inhabit a human body. God’s perfect Son coming to live in the same flesh we have. Amazing.
The perfect law of God requires a blood sacrifice when it is broken. It’s the only redeeming act. A good deed cannot undo a bad deed. But a blood sacrifice can.
And all you have to do is break one of God’s laws, and it’s like you’ve broken them all. God cannot allow any amount of sin in His presence. So, one misstep, and you are out.
Can you see how wretched you are without Christ? There is no hope for you without Christ. None. If God didn’t provide a way, every one of us would spend eternity in hell.
Why You Need Jesus
But God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. A blood sacrifice was required, and God fulfilled the requirement completely and forever through Jesus Christ.
I know this isn’t a normal church message these days, especially on Christmas. We’ve gotten used to the church making us feel good about ourselves. We even think that’s the sign of a good church.
But I’m not here to make you feel good about yourself. I’m here to remind you that you are nothing without Christ. Your entire life is but a vapor that will end in hell for eternity without Christ.
You could be the most confident, put-together, nice person that’s out there. You could live a good life for a full 85 years on this earth. Yet, without Christ, you’d spend the rest of eternity in hell.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Yet God, in His wonderful grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Jesus Christ when He freed us from the penalty of sin.
Jesus is the only way out of your wretched existence.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
There are likely people here right now, you thought you were saved before you walked in this room today. But you just realized your faith has been in yourself this whole time.
You thought because of your good behavior God was going to allow you access to heaven. But your good behavior will never be enough.
You may have even said the salvation prayer years ago, but you were just going through the motions. You didn’t really submit yourself to Jesus Christ as Lord.
If you are stirring inside because you realize you don’t want to be without Jesus anymore, stand to your feet and receive the salvation that belongs to you. STAND NOW before it’s too late.
Now, boldly and confidently repeat these words after me, “Jesus is my Lord. Today, I die to myself. I receive eternal life in Christ.”