Most of us are accustomed to working for a reward. We get paid for a completed job, and there’s a bonus when our effort exceeds expectation. It’s understandable, then, why so many people assume salvation depends upon our actions. But thankfully, that is simply not the case.
The Ten Commandments reveal God’s standard for holiness, but besides Jesus, no one has ever obeyed them perfectly. In fact, James 2:10 points out that “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of it all.” Just one jealous thought, unkind comment, or dishonoring action to parents is all it takes to be a lawbreaker, according to God’s specifications.
In other words, if salvation depended on our inadequate self-righteousness, nobody could be saved. But these ten rules weren’t intended to save us. Instead, they were meant to show our helplessness and point us to Christ (Gal. 3:24).
Our heavenly Father knew that in our own strength, we were inadequate to keep His law. Yet out of grace, He sent His sinless Son to take the penalty we deserved for our wrongdoing—death (Rom. 6:23). Jesus bore our iniquities, died, and rose from the grave. In doing so , He conquered sin so that we can be free.
Jesus’ death and resurrection broke the bonds of sin. Are you living in the freedom His blood made possible? We can do nothing to reconcile ourselves to God; our only hope is to accept the free gift of the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. In surrendering our life to Him, we find true freedom.