We face the danger of thinking we can be “good Christians” without depending on Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
When we do that, we forget one of the most basic truths about us – that we really are bad sinners.
When we forget that we are sinners, we are prone to allow our sinful hearts to go unchecked.
When we allow our hearts to go unchecked and focus only on external “goodness,” we become hypocritical in our actions, and the sins of our hearts slip past our watch and into our lives.
Only in the message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus do we see the true message of the need of our hearts.
Jesus repeatedly focused the Pharisees, who excelled in external goodness, on their internal sins.
They asked him what was the greatest commandment, and he focused his answer on the whole of man, not just the externals.
If we do not remember the cross every day, we will join the ranks of the Pharisees as religious people who think we can be right with God through our own goodness.
In the cross I see how vile my sin really is. In the cross, I am reminded that even my heart is wicked, not just my actions, since my actions come from the heart (see Matthew 15:18).
No matter how many “good deeds” you or I do, we cannot change the fact that we are sinful at heart. We need the cross.
We must daily depend on Christ’s work on the cross as the basis for my ability to live a new life.
Today, in all your good deeds, don’t forget the Good News.
Why is it easy to try to be good without trusting in Jesus? Please comment below.