Most people would say you get into heaven by doing good deeds. Most religions would say that. If you do enough good works, if you avoid enough evil, if you master the discipline, if you attain the enlightenment, then you get into heaven. But is that the way?
If it’s based on what we do, then the source of our salvation is ourselves. That’s Self-righteousness and if we could save ourselves by ourselves, then we wouldn’t need salvation in the first place.
How can the answer come from the one in need of the answer? It’s like telling a drowning man that if he would only swim well enough, he could save himself. If he could swim well enough, he wouldn’t be drowning in the first place. He’d be the lifeguard.
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Romans 4:18 – 5:2
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Peace and Hope
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
1 Corinthians 1:29-31
29 In that way, no man can be proud as he stands before God. 30 God Himself made the way so you can have new life through Christ Jesus. God gave us Christ to be our wisdom. Christ made us right with God and set us apart for God and made us holy. Christ bought us with His blood and made us free from our sins. 31 It is as the Holy Writings say, “If anyone is going to be proud of anything, he should be proud of the Lord.”
Salvation begins in Heaven. It’s not so much about getting into heaven, it’s about heaven getting into you. Heaven coming down . . . to us. The descent of heaven . . . the heavenly visiting the earthly . . . the heavenly One becoming earthly . . . so that the earthly might become heavenly. It’s not about attaining anything, it is about receiving everything . . . starting with heaven.
8 “You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;
let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
I, the Lord, have created it.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.