We need God’s help

Without Me you can do nothing
~ John 15:5

God must be, and the Bible says that He is, morally perfect. If our nature is less than perfect – and it is – then there is a separation between God and us. If we are to draw near to God, then it is reasonable to ask the conditions: What must I do? God does have a condition and, fortunately, it does not depend on our discipline and effort. As proof we have the recorded experience of the children of Israel.

After seeing miracles when they were brought out of Egypt, they complained about the hardships of the wilderness. They did not trust God. So God imposed the Law on them – 613 commandments, moral and ceremonial, that had to be obeyed completely in order to gain acceptance with Him. Israel agreed to the conditions. There were rewards for obedience and punishments for failure.

Nobody measures up. We need help.

The Bible history of Israel shows that they failed. They were unable to reach the standard. Most gave up quickly and decided to ignore God. Some made huge efforts, failed nonetheless, but paraded their self-righteousness.

Jesus’ initial teaching to Israel said that ritualistic observance of the Law was insufficient. The motives of the heart would be judged. To be angry was as bad as murder. To lust as bad as immoral behaviour. In other words, Jesus said that the standard for acceptance was higher than they thought.

What was the lesson? Nobody measures up. We need help. And that, said Jesus, was what only He could do for us.

Cling to this truth: It is not what you do – it will never be enough. It is what He has done.

The Law had 613 commandments, not suggestions. The Christian Bible has more moral injunctions than that. But, at every point of failure, there is His payment in your place and, because you are weak and corrupt, there is His supernatural power at work to change you from within.

Here is God’s condition for acceptance: You have to believe that you have a redeemer, that He has done what you cannot do for yourself and you have to hold on to Him. His name is Jesus.

Salvation – the basics – continues with:
Why is faith important? »

Bible references:
John 15:5; 1 John 1:5; Romans 3:23;
Exodus 15:24; Psalms 78:22; Galatians 3:19;
Matthew 5:21-22; Matthew 5:27-28; Romans 3:25;
1 Corinthians 15:10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

John 15:5

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”

1 John 1:5

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.

Romans 3:23

... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ...

Exodus 15:24

So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”

Psalms 78:22

For they did not believe in God or trust in His deliverance.

Galatians 3:19

What, then, was the purpose of the Law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come ...

Matthew 5:21-22

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

Matthew 5:27-28

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Romans 3:25

God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished ...

1 Corinthians 15:10

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures ...