There is an expression that is used in our culture that has much truth to it and the expression rings true. Have you heard it said the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The idea and what is meant by this expression is that the way to hell or the path traveled to hell it is often done so with good intending of seeing through actions with no result. Another way of thinking of it is understanding the definition of intent which is the act or fact of intending or meaning to do something or with purpose but with no result. This is with anything that one means to do and sets out to do but has no follow or sees it through and achieves what one set out to do. Example of this can be in the most simple and small things or the big things intended like sending a card, text, message or call someone to check on them and reaching out or staying connected and forgetting. Taking something to someone in a time of need and not getting to it. Another example would be to tell or offering to help someone and cancel or not fulfilling the commitment to that person. There are endless examples of such intentions that are good but not completed or seen through and are useless doing no one any good. I know I’m guilty of such and we have been all there for we all make mistakes. We learn that such big or little things could have ramifications. There is a great parallel of to his idea and concept to one’s faith and the path to salvation.
People and culture have often been under the impression or of the belief that one can travel any path to his or her salvation. It has been believed by many that any and eery road will lead them to their salvation. Furthermore it has been believed that one can pick the path of their own choosing to lead them and travel to salvation. There have been many people who have believed and feel that they can achieve and have their salvation through other means and paths that lie outside of Jesus Christ. People often feel, think and believe that they make pick, choose, create their own unique way of achieving salvation. The path and journey to ones true faith and salvation is not a situation that allows for walking or following the beating of one’s own drum and music.
There has been the idea of family /Christian heritage as if one’s faith is passed down through the generation as if it was DNA, genetics or a birth right. This is not to say that there is much to be said for the legacy of family or heritage of faith and Christianity and the influence that can have on an individual or a the whole family through the generations. However this is not the same for an individual to say or believe well my family have the faith and believe so that covers me and thus I’m good. Because of my family has the faith and salvation I’m good and don’t need to come to my own faith journey to salvation. This is may be well intended with much good intent but couldn’t be further from the truth. We are all have to make to choice to have faith , to follow and believe in Christ. No one can make that decision for us or no else’s one choice is our get out faith or belief card because by default of that other person’s we are covered. We are each have to face our God and Creator and have the responsibly to make the choice for ourselves and own lives. Nothing short of our own personal belief, acceptance of Jesus Christ and faith in Him will we each be saved and given our salvation.
Some other ideas or beliefs that people have as to what will save them or lead them to salvation insoles the letter of the law/ legalism, good deeds or works or one’s own personal good choices and morality. These are similar and relevant things in that all three of these ideas and beliefs relate to something we can do, an act we do or don’t do or our ability as individuals. The idea of the letter of the law or legalism is defined as strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence to law or prescription particularly to the letter of the law as opposed to the spirit of the law. Following a strict following or adherence to the law and abiding in all aspects of every law is a impossible task for us as imperfect and sinful beings that we are as humans. Yes we were given the law, yes we should follow and obey the law and yes Jesus came to fulfill the law and not abolish. For imperfect, sinful beings this is something we can’t and never will obtain or achieve it is out of our reach and grasp. It may be well intended and with good intentions to say as an individual I will always and forever every day, every moment follow every aspect of the entire law without faulted or failure but its a foolish and invasion thing to say and to strive for. Even though as humans we may be fools and foolish but this s a fool’s errands for sure that can be completed or done.
Another idea or belief is that be being a strict follower of the law or by my good deeds or works whether related to following the law or not just simply a good act or deed I will be saved and find my salvation. Its as if one believes that I in my lifetime if I do enough good deeds or works that I can be saved or work my way towards one’s salvation. If this is the path to be raveled to one’s true faith and salvation then doesn’t that open a religious can of worms on salvation. I mean who does one know what each good deed or work is worth. How does any of us know how many good works or deed it takes to earn our salvation. How do we know the price of our salvation thus knowing how many good deeds and works would have to be done to equate to the price or cost of one’s salvation to be able to pay the cost and earn one’s salvation. When would we know enough is enough to tip the scale of salvation with the good deeds and woks that would allow for any of us to earn our salvation.
If we ask these questions in this can of religious worms by tour good deeds and works we are saved we must also consider the other side for in life there is always two sides and balance. If way to earn our salvation is through one’s good works and deeds then what would happen to our scale when we do something that is a mistake, a sin or an act or deed that is not a good deed or work. Would this now infraction and blemish of this not good deed or work cause our scale of salvation to be tipped to the other side. Another way to consider this is we have a bank account of spirituality when we do good deeds or works we have a deposit of favor put into our spiritual account that works towards our end investment of our salvation. Then again when we commit a sin, make a mistake or have an infraction we have a withdrawal taken from our spiritual account and works against our positive balance in our spiritual account and our end investment of our salvation. If you follow this logic and argument through it will eventually lead to the question of the how secure and or what security doe we have in our salvation. Just as in an actual banking checking or saving account if to many withdrawals are taken one will draw down their account balance and a have a strong chance of bouncing their account balance into the negative and their account not being in good standing. Then would this be the case and true also of our own personal spiritual account we have at the bank of Letter of the law. If so the only logical spiritual conclusion that one can come to is that the infractions, mistakes and sins that cause continual withdraws from one’s account will eventually lead to one’s bouncing of one account and lost of the ultimate investment of one’s salvation.
This equally is relevant to the third idea of belief that will lead to and ensure one’s salvation of well I’m a good and moral person so that counts and is enough right. This belief and idea is still working on the spiritual account system of deposits of favors or withdrawals. The implication of this logic is that my actions and deeds or work are sufficient, enough and have merit on their own to carry me and earn what I need to be saved. In any of these ideas or beliefs could be more further from the truth. The inherent problem with these ideas and beliefs is the underlying and all encompassing basis of these ideas and beliefs is that one’s salvation can be worked for, work towards or earned. We can not earn or have merit in our own acts, works or deeds. Nothing we can do in our own right or of our own merit could ever be enough to earn salvation. Even more salvation is a gift and gift are given and not earned. Moreover even if we could do enough in acts, deeds or works it is would be fruitless and futile because by the very nature of salvation being a gift it is not erasable. One must think of salvation as if a non returnable check is cut and written to you with your name on it for the solo purpose of deposit into your spiritual account to invest in you and your salvation. There is no expectation of paying this check back or work to be rendered for it. It is completely freely given to you for you and all that you have do is to deposit it into our account. The act of making the deposit is your spiritual account is your acceptance, belief and having faith in this gift that you have been given. Not you now are forever covered and secure in your now found investment of your salvation in and through Christ Jesus and have started your journey of faith and life in Jesus Christ.
Do you wish for your or my salvation to be based on this spiritual banking system of earning and losing for if one has earned one can lose just as easily and quickly as it was earned. Should we have to watch our spiritual accounts daily or hourly to know where we stand as to check our monetary banking accounts balance to see what we have don’t have or earned or lost. What would it be to never know where you stand or to always be uncertain or in doubt of your account standing. What would it be to always have questions of what do we still have to do and earn and maintain our account’s good standing. As believers and followers of Christ we do not have to deal with this messy, unattainable, impossible spiritual can of worms. This is why our faith and salvation as believers and followers of Christ is not work based but faith based and alone by our faith in Christ are we saved. We don’t have to endlessly strive to tip the scales, check or maintain a balance that will ensure our investment of our salvation. Christ has written the check for our salvation and has back it we can take it to the bank and know it’s secure. His backing is more than the FDIC could ever do or promise When we invest by our faith in Christ there is no more deposits or withdrawals to be done. The check has been written, cleared and covered and once those who deposit Christ check they will be saved and secure in that it is by faith alone in Jesus Christ and He is the way and only way to the Father and salvation. May we not as individuals and as a culture choose the imperfect, fallible, impossible spiritual banking system of good deeds or works, one’s morality and legalism but may we chose the true and only way of salvation which is through Jesus Christ Lord and Savior.