I have a friend. She is very kind and thoughtful. Gracious and generous. We laugh about silly things, and always look forward to seeing each other. I love her.
She believes Jesus was a great prophet. A holy man. She believes that he was God’s son. She says that she respects Jesus very much. She does not believe that Jesus died on a cross, or that He was God in the flesh. She does not believe that He paid the penalty for her sins.
I am so tempted to receive her as a sister in Christ. She looks so much like Him. I want her to be there. How could she not…given her commitment to love and peace?
Gal 1:3-5 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever.
Gal 2:20-21 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
Gal 3:2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
Gal 3:11 “But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
Gal 3:21-24 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
My friend hopes that she will have eternal life in heaven by her belief that keeping laws of goodness, love, and peace will find her there.
But there is one really really really BIG problem with that. If that were possible…why did the Son of God have to die by execution for a crime He did not commit? She wants God to accept her on her own merits. God has clearly stated that the penalty of sin is death. And we have all sinned. But…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ…to all who believe.
My friend is under the impression that she is worthy to be the wife of a Husband who has loved her all her days, provided for her every need, even died for her. Yet, she has never trusted or believed Him. She is content to live on her own with no help from Him. How then, can He, in truth, receive her as His bride?