Daily Devotional: Your good works are no ticket to Heaven


Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:25-26


When I was a little boy, I thought God was like Santa Claus with a long beard sitting up in heaven—making a list and checking it twice, trying to find out if I was naughty or nice. Then when my life was over, I would face Him and He would pull out these massive scales and weigh my good works against my bad to see if I made it into heaven.

Do you know what thinking this did to me? It made me fearful that at the end of my life I would face God and He would say, “Adrian. I’m sorry, but according to My calculations, you didn’t make it.” Then I would have to turn and ashamedly walk past my family and friends, separated from them and from God forever.

Friend, maybe you too believe this. But let me set the record straight: Salvation is not an attainment, it is an atonement—it is the reconciliation of man with God through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. You cannot achieve it—you must receive it.


You cannot atone for your sins. Your good works cannot do it. None of us could produce works good enough or fast enough to atone for sin. Don’t even try. Rest in the finished work of the Cross.