Meriting Favor with God is Impossible

May 28, 2008

by Shawn Brasseaux
Published in The (Opelousas, Louisiana) Daily World

I often hear of good, respectable people doing their absolute best to merit favor with God. I know they want to do what is right, and I commend them for their efforts. It is frequently said that if you can keep the Ten Commandments, then you are destined for heaven. Basing your eternal destiny on this concept is quite dangerous, and that road thought to be paved to heaven is only a spiritual dead end. It is quite heart-wrenching, which is why I want to politely proclaim the Truth while I still have the opportunity. There will be many disappointed people in eternity, and I do not want any of you to feel that deep sadness.

Romans 4:4-5 explains that God applies His own righteousness to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Saviour. God does not want us to work for our salvation. Biblically speaking, people are not only ignoring God’s grace (unmerited and undeserved favor), but they are also claiming that God owes them heaven because of what they did. We do absolutely nothing for our salvation. We simply rely on what Christ did for us at the cross of Calvary. God does not owe us anything, and how dare anyone try to force God to give them salvation because of what they have done. What an insult to Christ, the God-man who suffered to bring us precious salvation!

Do you know why God created the Ten Commandments and the Old Testament Law in the first place? The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to write in Romans 3:19-20, “Now we know that what things the law said, it said to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world can become guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of law there shall be no person justified in God’s sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

The purpose of the Law is not to help us get to heaven; God created the Law to show us that we do sin, and that we break God’s commandments more often than we observe them. The Law only condemns us to hell! No one will ever approach God and tell Him that they are “good enough” for heaven. The Law shows us that none of us—no, not one—is good enough to get to heaven by means of meriting favor with God.