Salvation - The Complete Opposite Way
When people work at their jobs and get their paychecks, they are entitled to their wages. They earned them. They worked for it and have a right to expect whatever they have coming based on an agreed-upon salary. And the employer is indebted to pay employees for their work. People don not go to their employers after receiving their paychecks, thank them for the gracious gift of money, and protest that they didn’t deserve it. Instead, people take that check and go home, knowing that they earned it and are being reimbursed for their time and labor.
Many people have the false idea whereby they want to believe it’s the same way for going to heaven, as if you work for it and earn it, that you get what’s coming to you, as if salvation is a reward for being good. But that is not the way it is with salvation. Salvation is gained in the complete opposite way. Salvation is “to him that Worketh NOT, but Believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:4, below).
No one receives salvation and God’s righteousness by working for it. It is given “to him that worketh not.” We have nothing to offer God in our unrighteous state. And God’s righteousness is not and cannot be earned. It’s not something we work for and so God owes it to us; salvation is something we receive by faith alone in Christ.
Work yields wages that the person working deserves or earns. Faith receives a gift that the person believing does not deserve or earn. To have God’s righteousness imputed (counted) to our account, and to be justified and declared righteous by God, we simply “[believe] on Him that justifieth the ungodly.” We trust in the Lord. We take God at His Word. We place our faith in Him when His Word tells us that Christ died for our sins and rose again (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Trusting God and the good news of Jesus Christ and His cross-death for us, we are made righteous by God.
“4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him [Jesus Christ] that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:4-5 (KJV, emphasis added),
(To be “justified” means to “be declared innocent.”)
Romans 4:4-5 are good verses to commit to memory. The reason is that these verses state the opposite of what most people think about ‘how to be saved.’ Most believe that the way to be right with God is to be good and to earn your way to heaven by doing good things. These verses from the Apostle Paul say something entirely different.
God ‘justifies,’ not the godly or the good, but “the ungodly” by their ‘Faith’ in Him.
Romans 3:10, 23 tells us, “There is none righteous, no, not one” and “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
We are all seen by God as unrighteous sinners, needing His salvation. God justifies the ungodly because there are no godly for Him to justify! All are ungodly in His sight. God justifies any who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
You do not need to clean up your act first or repent and turn from your sins to be saved, as is commonly taught. You simply come as you are, as an ungodly sinner, throw yourself on the grace and mercy of God, believing He will justify you due to your faith in Christ alone. You just trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and that’s it! The righteousness that is of God is received by faith alone strictly as a free gift from God. Have you believed?