|God has only promised His salvation to siners. Sinners only qualify for
the forgiveness of sins! Salvation has only been promised by God to those who are willing
to acknowledge their guilt and sinnership in God's sight. In the book of Job, the oldest
book in the Bible, God says, "He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and
perverted that which was right and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going
into the pit, and his life shall see the light" (Job 33:27-28).
When Christ the Son of God was here upon earth, His bitterest denunciations were leveled at the self-righteous Pharisees. In addressing them He said, "Woe unto you,scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward,but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness" (Matt. 2223:27). He also said, "Verily I say unto you,,,, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you" (Matt.21:31). You may ask the question, "Why is this?" The reason is the self-righteous, the church goers, the philanthropists will not take the place of being sinners that they might be saved. They want to be saved by their own good works when God says, "Not of works lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:3; Rom. 3:19-29).
The prophet Isaiah of old wrote, " We are all of an unclean thing and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; we all do fade as a leaf and our iniquities like the wind, have taken us away" (Isaiah 64 :6). The Apostle James cuts every vestage of selfrighteousness and good works for salvation from all mankind when he writes, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet fail in one point is guilty of all" (James 2:10). The Lord Jesus told the story best when He told of the self-righteous Pharisee and the sinful publican who went up to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee majored on his self-righteousness and the publican would not even lift up his eyes to Heaven but smote upon his breast saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner." The Lord Jesus said, "This man (meaning the publican) went down to his house justified, forgiven, rather than the Pharisee" (Luke 18:14).
Friend, are you among the people who believe you will gain Heaven because of the exemplary life you have lived and the good deeds you have done? Don't be deceived! This is Satan's lie. Listen to what the Son of God said, "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me" (John 14:6). The only way to Heaven is through the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal. 2:20).
The promise of God to sinners is, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (Hohn 3:36). In Mark 2:17 we read: "He came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." Luke 19:10 states; "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
The hymn writer has well expressed it as follows:
Not what these hands have done
Thy work alone my Savior
by - W.G. McCartney