Eternal life is a gift, not earned

In Ezekiel 18:25-29, the Israelites were complaining to God claiming He wasn't a just God. The Lord answers back, "You say the way of the Lord is not just, is it not your ways that are unjust?"

As I read through this chapter, I thought of times when I questioned God about His way of doing things and how they weren't how I would do them and I was reminded of the statue called "blind justice." We see it in pictures and in courthouses across our country. It's a statue of a blindfolded woman holding a scale in one hand and a sword in the other.

Many believe this statue symbolizes that the prosecution puts all its evidence on one side of the scale and the defense puts all its evidence on the other side of the scale and which ever one weighs the most is the way the case turns out.

But that's not the meaning of blind justice, that's not what happens. If you look closely you'll see one side of the scale has the word "justice" on it. That changes everything because what actually happens is the prosecution puts all its evidence on one side of the scale opposite the word "justice" and the defense puts all its evidence on the same side of the scale as the prosecution. When everything is weighed, it is weighed against justice and that determines the outcome.

According to the Supreme Courthouse, "The statue from ancient Greek and Roman times is Themis, the goddess of justice and law, known for her clear-sightedness, even though she's blindfolded, holding a sword in one hand and scales in the other. The scales represent the impartiality with which justice is served, the sword signifies the power that is held by those making the decision and blindfolded to show that justice is not subject to influence."

I used to think God puts all my bad stuff on one side of the scale and all my good stuff on the other side of the scale and hopefully I've got more good than bad and then I'm in!

But here's what God does, He puts all my bad on one side of the scale and he puts all my good on the same side and then Jesus puts himself on the other side. And the most amazing thing is that the scale doesn't move. The pronouncement is made "Equal. Not guilty."

How can a just God allow me, a sinner, to go to heaven? I did everything I could ever do to try to move the scale to say not guilty by doing good things, speaking good things, holding my temper, trying not to offend others, etc. but it was only when Jesus stepped on the other side of my scale that made the scale swing to not guilty and God's justice was satisfied.

God gave Jesus what I deserve. He is a just God and perfect in all of His ways. He is also a God that showers us with grace. Grace is giving me something I don't deserve.

Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works."

Eternal life is a gift not something we can earn by doing good things. Eternal life is only received through Jesus Christ. Ask Him to step on the other side of your scale and hear the words, "not guilty."

Ron Magab is pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship and is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.


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