Sometimes Christ-followers struggle with a poor self image. They may look at others and come to the conclusion that they are not as “spiritually” mature or strong. 2 Corinthians 10:12 During Christ’s time, the Pharisees were looked on as the super elite of righteousness by the common people. No over ever thought THEY could reach the spiritual level of the Pharisees.
Many Christ-followers have fallen into the trap of “personal performance.” They gauge their spirituality with what they do or don’t do. They think they can please God by their good deeds. A man came to Jesus and asked Him; …”What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Mark 10:17 Basically he was asking “Am I good enough?” If you were ask the average person how to get to heaven; their response would probably deal with something that they do. (Keep Ten Commandments, follow the Golden Rule, do the best you can, etc.)
On the day Jesus was baptized, the heaven opened and the Father said, “You are my Son,whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Notice two things:
- Jesus was just beginning His ministry. He had not healed the first person, preached a message, or performed a miracle yet, the Father was pleased with Him. Pleasing God is not based how good you are but your relationship with Him.
- God found pleasure in the relationship He had with the Son. Jesus did not do anything to merit favor with God.
Here is the bad/good news: Bad news: No you don’t measure up! Good News: Jesus does!
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it…” Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT