“12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
After the fall, man seeks to obtain salvation from his sins, and to hide the nakedness of his sin, so he sewed fig leaves to list himself, but it was of no use. Likewise, man strives to do good deeds in order to atone for his sin, and the question here is: Can good deeds save man?
The answer is no. Why?
1 – Good deeds (according to God’s laws) are not suitable for atonement for sin because:
A – The wages of sin is death and not good works. A person must die, or someone on his behalf, in order for his sins to be forgiven (Romans 6:23).
b – “22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Heb. 9:22), and good works do not include sacrifice or blood.
C – Good deeds are considered a bribe to God to disregard His law and accept a person without implementing the law
2 – Good works come from an unclean heart (Jeremiah 17:9), so they are unclean and unacceptable (Isaiah 64:6).
3- Good deeds are not sufficient to pay the price of sin. Sin is unlimited because it is directed to the unlimited God (Psalm 51:4).
4 – The owner of good deeds has a sense of pride and self-righteousness, and God does not accept this feeling, but rather wants a humble heart that feels unworthy (Isaiah 66:2).
5 – In (Galatians 2:21) 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” If our works save us, why did Christ die???
Through all of the above, good works cannot save man, but God, in His love and mercy, arranged the salvation of man through the death and resurrection of Christ. In the cross of Christ we saw the love, mercy and justice of God. Christ is the only Savior, and there is no salvation in anyone else because He paid the price for our sins “18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1: 18, 19). The basis of our salvation is the love and mercy of God, and the price of our salvation is the blood of the lamb, which is without blemish or spot. And the divine principle by which God deals with us is grace. In (Eph 2:8) “8 for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—.”
In order to obtain this great salvation, we must believe God and trust in the person of Christ and his complete and sufficient work on the cross, and not depend on our abilities or on our feelings, the word of God says:” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:6-10)
Reverend / Reda Bushra Habib
Pastor of St. Paul’s Episcopal/Anglican Church in Ezbet Al Nakhl