The ways of death

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12

There is only one way to heaven, and that is God’s way. Men and women have made up very many ways to get to heaven, but not one of them will work. All of them are ‘the ways of death’. None of them will take you to heaven. Man’s ways are many and complicated. God’s one way is simple.

Don’t trust your own heart, don’t trust other people’s logic. Do trust God and seek out the Bible way of salvation.

Not of works

“Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:9

Some of us do more works than others. If we could work our way to heaven, perhaps a certain number or kind of works would get us there. But we can’t. Even though some people work harder at being good and doing good than others, we can’t deserve heaven through our efforts.

If works could get us there, some would have reason to boast. But the Bible says it doesn’t work that way. That only the work of Jesus is effective to get us to heaven. Our works are not. Trust in his work today, and stop placing your confidence in your own works, which will let you down. Jesus will not let you down: he will give you eternal life if you trust him.

Not by works

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done” Titus 3:5a

Understanding that we’ve all done something wrong – we’ve all sinned – and that the wages of sin is death, how are we to avoid receiving those wages, which are spiritual death, eternal separation from God?

Many people come up with the answer, “I just need to do more good than I do bad. Then when my good outweighs my bad, I’ll be safe and I’ll get into heaven.”

But this verse tells us that we don’t get into heaven by doing works of righteousness. You see, our righteousness can’t out-weigh our sin, but Jesus’ righteousness and his sacrifice for us makes it possible for him to wipe away our sins and assign his righteousness to our account.

The world keeps telling us we are all good enough, but the Bible tells us we are not, and that we must throw ourselves on God’s mercy. Will you give up relying on yourself today and rely on the Lord Jesus for your salvation?

The wages of sin

“The wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23a

“Wait!” say those who know this verse, “finish the verse!” But the truth is that the second part of this verse, which we will memorize another day, is not relevant until we agree with the truth of the first part of this verse.

When I work at my job, I deserve to get paid. I get paid my wages. It would be (and sometimes it happens) very unjust to work and not get paid. I’ve had that happen to me, have you? Usually I really want my wages. I deserve them, and I did good work to get them.

But not everything we do is good, and when we do bad, when we sin, we also deserve something for that. This verse says that the wages of sin is death. That because we sin, we deserve to die. Think of that! Every sin a capital crime! Does that sound harsh to you? If it does, you might not have a clear picture of how our Creator made us in his own likeness, and even though we are each of us sinners, wants to make us again in his own likeness, and is so deeply grieved when we reject him. And that is what sin is. Every time we decide to do something wrong, no matter how small, we are rejecting him who loves us so much.

Sin is a terrible thing. And we treat it so lightly. Its wage is death. Run to the Savior who is able and willing in mercy to shield you from the wages of sin. No longer delay, do it today!

All have sinned

“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Some people are better than others, but nobody is perfect. Nobody, that is, except Jesus. He lived a perfect life, never did anything wrong, and completely pleased God.

We might do some good things, even many good things. But none of us can say we’ve never done anything wrong. We all have done wrong. We have all sinned.

This verse teaches us that we all fall short of God’s expectation, his standard for us. Because we fall short, we need a Savior. Jesus, the only one to live a perfect life, took our place, our punishment, and offers us his place, his reward, if we will believe, put our trust, place our confidence, in him for our salvation. Will you do that today?

God so loved the world

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

This might be one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, but it is not well-enough known. Each person in the world needs to know that God loves you. Loves you and me enough to offer his beloved Son to suffer and die instead of us, so that you and I do not have to take the punishment for our sins. Instead of perishing for our sins, we can not perish, and live forever!

And anyone who believes will not perish, but have everlasting life. That means you, if you will believe. That means me. That means anyone who will believe. Trust in Jesus today and he will give you everlasting life!

He believed in the Lord

Genesis 15:6 “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

This is the first absolutely clear indication in Genesis that we are saved through faith, and not through any deserving righteousness. It’s very simple. Abram believed Jehovah, and Jehovah counted Abram righteous because of it. The one thing God asks us in return for counting his righteousness as ours, is that we trust, have faith, believe, in Him.

In I Corinthians 15 Paul tells us about “the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain…how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures…and so ye believed.” It does matter what you believe, and it does matter in Whom you believe. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31.

Our memory verse is such a clear testimony of salvation by faith in the righteousness of Christ that those who don’t believe the Bible is God’s Word have decided that it was added in much later. How much better to understand it as an early indication of God’s grace at work in the life of a man, who, however far from perfect, was the ‘father of the faithful’.