On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” ~ Luke 10:25
An expert in the law came to Jesus with a very pointed question. It remains pertinent today, because many people still ask, “What must I do to be saved?” The question is straightforward, yet the answers offered seldom are. Some believe good works are the answer. If they do enough good for enough people they will be saved from eternal death and live with God in heaven forever. Others believe they will be saved regardless of what they do. Finally, though, Jesus provides the only right answer.
In his response to the expert in the law, Jesus revealed good works were not sufficient. I need to accept the same truth. My good works are always lacking when compared to what God requires. Even my promises to try harder and be better will never meet God’s expectations. This leaves but one answer which offers any hope, and that is: I am saved only through Jesus.
As God’s one and only Son, Jesus offered his Father the perfect life that God requires. No sin, no fault, no disobedience—nothing was found in Jesus which disqualified him from being perfect. Not only did Jesus complete his Father’s requirements for perfection, he also offered his life as the payment to secure my complete release from sin and its just punishment.
The benefit of Jesus’ precious work is my only hope to be saved. Through faith in him, everything he completed is mine. As a result, God the Father credits me with Jesus’ perfection and declares me not guilty. In Jesus, I am released from relying on my works, my good intentions, and my faulty hopes. In Jesus, I have no doubt that I am saved from the guilt of my sins. In Jesus, I am saved from the punishment I deserve. In Jesus, I have the inheritance of eternal life.
While many try to rely on themselves and their good works to be saved, through faith I know the one true way. My confidence and my salvation come only through Jesus.
Prayer: O gracious Savior, Jesus Christ, I thank you for the precious gift of your obedience, and for securing my release from guilt and punishment. Give me the strength of faith to trust in you alone for my salvation. Amen.