Galatians 2:21 (NIV)
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Often our tendency is to do good and be good in an attempt to earn favor or the right to get into heaven.
Our pride can’t seem to handle that we had nothing to do with our salvation.
We want to keep going back to works-based religion (law) so we can continue keeping score of how much of it we have kept.
We want to weigh our good with our bad. Just so God can see that our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds and then pat us on the back and say “wow you really are a good person. Here’s your get into heaven ticket for whenever you’re ready to come home”.
To accept Jesus’s atoning work is to put our complete trust in someone else—and that’s very hard on our self-reliant, independent ego.
But it’s all or nothing.
If not, Christ died for nothing.
His life, death, and resurrection are in vain, worthless, and a waste of effort.
If you keep trying to be your own savior, you’re saying with your actions that Christ died for nothing.
Think about it, if we could save ourselves then Jesus didn’t really need to come and give himself for our sins and save us from this present evil age (Galatians 1).
Paul doesn’t take this lightly. notice what he tells them in Galatians 3:3 (NIV)
Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?
You and I can’t save ourselves and we desperately need a savior.
So start living in that freedom. Don’t go back to the slavery that trying to keep the law imposed on the Jewish nation. Live in the freedom that comes with receiving Jesus’ gracious gift—His complete and finished work of salvation; forgiveness of sin and adoption into the family of God.
Christ didn’t die for nothing. He died for you and me.