If we want to know whether Jesus’ sacrifice is enough to save us, we need to know some things about our condition before a Holy God.
Firstly, we need to know the bad news.
The bad news is all have sinned, and continue to fall short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23).
This means a few things:
- We are not good enough to be with God.
- We cannot offset our bad deeds by good deeds: No matter how many good deeds we do, we cannot offset our bad deeds. No amount of truth telling can offset that one tiny lie. No amount of kindness can offset that one small outburst of anger.
- We cannot pay for our sins in any way.
- We must be punished. We are guilty. The wages for one sin is death (Rom 6:23).
Are you feeling lost and hopeless? That’s ok. Actually that is healthy. Only then can you really understand and appreciate the gospel, and the need for a Savior.
Here’s the good news. Anyone can be saved by trusting Jesus’ sacrifice (John 3:16). This is what God did:
Because we cannot pay for our sin, God turned over our sins to Jesus (Isaiah 53:5)
Paul stated the gospel this way:
“The Gospel really is…this Good News that saves you if you still firmly believe it…that Christ died for our sins…and that three days afterwards he arose from the grave” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Jesus’ death wasn’t a martyr’s death. It wasn’t just a demonstration of love. It is much more. He died in our place. He died our death. When Jesus said ‘It is finished’ and died on the cross (John 19:30), He paid the price for our sins completely.
Is this sacrifice a sufficient payment for our sins?
Yes, in Greek, it is finished means tetelestai. It is a banking term to mean debt is paid. Jesus paid our sin debt we owed God. He satisfied God’s wrath fully. He met broken law’s demands completely. And when He rose, He earned the right to give life eternal to anyone who will receive Him and believe that His sacrifice is sufficient to save them (John 3:16).
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation (adjudging of guilty) for those who belong to Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Some believe it is still not enough
During Paul’s day, some Jewish Christians were teaching that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t really enough. The same issue exists today. The idea is Jesus’ sacrifice alone cannot save us, we also need to add others things. During Paul’s day it was circumcision, and other Jewish laws. Today, some try to add kind acts, church going, Sabbath, offering giving, and other good works to His finished work to gain forgiveness and acceptance from God.
Paul’s says don’t even think about it
Paul warns that if you teach Jesus’ sacrifice is not enough, you are teaching another gospel, which is not a gospel at all (Galatians 1:6, 7). And he goes on to say the following things among other things about people who teach and believe in such a gospel:
- They are cursed; literally should be destroyed (Galatians 1:9)
- Trying to be right with God through obeying the law, which is impossible (Galatians 2:16)
- Trying to receive God’s inheritance through keeping the law, and not by trusting Jesus (Galatians 3:18).
- Trying to receive the Holy Spirit by their works, which doesn’t work (Galatians 3:2)
- Do not and cannot even obey all the commandments all the time, and hence are under a curse, and prisoned (Galatians 3:10)
Don’t add, but show gratitude
Paul said, we are made right with God when we “believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood” (Romans 3:25). If you repent for your sins, and inability to save yourself, and trust Jesus’ finished work is enough to save you, and receive Jesus, not only Jesus came into your life, He also forgave your sins, gave you a new start and empowered you to live a new life pleasing to Him.
Now you can show God your gratitude through your good works, not to gain or earn favor from Him, because you really can’t. Besides, you already have His favor. But in response to Jesus’s finished work and as the Holy Spirit who is in you leads you to do His will, obey and honor Him.