Saved By Works

I’ve been doing a lot of reading for a seminary class on the doctrine of salvation, so I figured I would share a particular insight that often gets overlooked when we talk about what Christ did for us:

Have you ever wondered why Christ lived 30+ years as a man? Why he gave up His recognized status as the Creator of the universe and endured mocking, sickness, pain, and poverty? Why didn’t he just come and die–get it over with, so to speak?

Sure, Christ provided us a clear example of what it means to follow God, but the answer to these questions goes deeper, closer to the very heart of the Gospel. Consider Christ’s role in comparison with Adam, the first man:

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).

Adam’s sin brought us the status sinner, which we confirmed by our own actions. Christ did the opposite. Christ’s obedience to the law that Adam couldn’t keep brought us the status righteous, a standing we believers have before God and will one day perfectly live out when God gives us each new bodies and spirits in eternity.

To put it another way, Adam was given a clean slate, on which he promptly wrote “SIN” in bold letters. That’s the slate we got, and we lived like it. Christ took the slate and wiped it clean with His blood. But he didn’t stop there.  He didn’t give us the same chance that Adam had to mess it up again. Instead of leaving it blank, Christ wrote “THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM” (2 Cor. 5:21) with His perfect life.

So rejoice, not that your slate is clean, but that on it is indelibly written “THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.” Be glad that you are saved by works–Christ’s works!

One Response

  1. Thanks for the article, Jake! Romans 5:19 is one of my favorite verses. How often we Christians complicate the Gospel of Salvation…and even more broadly…how often people complicate the ideas of death and an afterlife is astonishing. I love that our God, who loves us so much, gives us a perfect, and yet simple solution to eternity. Great article!

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