May 2019


9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14 (NIV)

We are not justified by our works or lack thereof. Our works, on its best day is shaky and leads to eternal damnation at its worse. We as Christians can never rest on any allusion of perfection based on comparing ourselves to anyone in the natural. For the Christian man and woman, it is not our neighbor who is the measuring stick to whom we are to measure up to but it is Jesus Himself.

When we come to grips with that truth, we are less likely to tear down and judge others based on our sins that look so much worse when they are committed by someone else. Although in the flesh we know that we can never reach the perfection of Jesus, it does not give us an excuse not to try to reach the standard in which Jesus came and set forth for the Christian man and woman. We must strive to forever offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.

We are not justified by works but by faith in Jesus and His Finished Works on the Cross of Calvary.

We don’t do works to be saved.

We do works because we are saved!

Rev. Leroy Mahoney, Vice President
Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Boston & Vicinity Inc.