Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7

As we look forward to commemorating Jesus’ death and resurrection, I want to keep one key point in mind: God sent Jesus to do this work for ME. He accomplished this because I could never have saved myself. It was His work, His pain, His cross and His righteousness that allows me now to be saved from eternal separation from God.

He died for me while I was still a sinner.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price that the law required, and brings peace to those of us who believe.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2

We have this peace because Jesus’ death on the cross saves us from the wrath of God.

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Romans 5:9

Jesus was the only one who could have accomplished this. He went to the cross a sinless man, but bore all the sins of earth: past, present and future.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. II Corinthians 5:21

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. I Peter 2:24

Christ’s righteousness alone can cover us. We have no righteousness of our own; it all comes from Him. Righteousness comes through faith in Christ and our identification with Him. Like Paul, I press on, thanking Him for doing the work that He was sent to Earth to do, acknowledging that it was His work, NOT mine.

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:8-12

Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ
Words by Horatio Bonar

Thy works, not mine, O Christ, Speak gladness to this heart;
They tell me all is done; they bid my fear depart.
To whom save thee, who canst alone for sin atone, Lord, shall I flee?

They pains, not mine, O Christ, upon the shameful tree,
Have paid the law’s full price and purchased peace for me.
To whom save thee, who canst alone for sin atone, Lord, shall I flee?

Thy cross, not mine, O Christ, has borne the awful load
Of sins that none in heaven or earth could bear but God.
To whom save thee, who canst alone for sin atone, Lord, shall I flee?

Thy righteousness, O Christ, alone can cover me;
No righteousness avails save that which is of Thee.
To whom save thee, who canst alone for sin atone, Lord, shall I flee?

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