Some people hope to do enough good deeds in life that when they must give account to God, their good deeds will outweigh their bad ones. In this way they hope to earn God’s favor. But the Bible tells us God is so holy and we are so unholy that we can never earn God’s favor by our feeble efforts. In fact, God’s Son came into the world because we were unable to find favor with God. Paul wrote in Philippians Ch 3, “We rely on what Christ has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort.” Then after citing his own religious good deeds, he says: “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” The Bible teaches us that favor with God comes as a gift from God in response to our humbly admitting and turning from our sin and accepting Jesus Christ by faith. Does this free gift give us liberty to live as we please? Absolutely not! Rather, our gratitude to God drives us to dedicate ourselves to worship Him and serve others.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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