Have you made any resolutions for the New Year? How’s it going? Broken any yet? Someone has said his resolution for the New Year is not to make any resolutions. Sounds like a good idea. We always hear talk of resolutions early in the year but as the year progresses the talk fades and becomes buried in the past. Nothing shows us just how weak we are as human beings than our inability to keep our well-intentioned resolutions.
Stop smoking, lose weight, be kinder to neighbors, those are all worthy resolutions. But try as we might few achieve those goals, most do not. If we have such trouble following through on our own resolutions, how much more dire is man’s thinking that he can become good enough to enter God’s Heaven based on his own lifetime merits, his own good works. God’s Word says we are all an unclean thing and our self-imposed righteousness is seen by God as filthy rags. We all know how awful filthy rags can be, something we don’t even want to touch. He continues on to say in Isaiah 64 our iniquities (sin) have taken us far away from God. There is only one thing that can bring us back into a right relationship with Him that was broken in the Garden and passed on to all generations, and it is not our good works. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that is able to cleanse us from all sin (I John 1:7). There is not anything we can or are able to do in and of ourselves; we are too weak, sinful, depraved to even find our way to God. It is by His mercy He saves us.
Titus 3:5 states, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saves us.” Just as we are too weak to keep our New Year’s resolutions, we are too weak to save ourselves by our own good works. Any good work attempted by sinful man will always be tainted with sin. Nothing but perfection enters God’s Heaven. Jesus was the Perfect Lamb of God sent to save us from our sinful behavior. It is only by placing our faith and trust in Him, committing our lives to living for Him and doing His good pleasure, will God the Father look upon His Son, our Advocate, and see us covered by the sinless blood of the Lamb. Then the Savior will say, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” Matthew 25:34.