Wow! What a title! What a question! But in short, the answer is a resounding “No.” Or is it…
The short answer is no, we don’t deserve salvation. We are all sinners in need of the Savior. The answer is also no because:
We are sinners
In the first chapter of Genesis we read that we are made in the image of God. He made us to be with him. But when sin entered the world because of Satan through Adam and Eve, the entire human race became unworthy to be in the presence of God. The presence of sin erected a wall between us and God because God’s holiness doesn’t allow him to be in the presence of sin.
We. Were. Lost.
However, God’s love for us—people created in his image—caused him to devise a plan that would allow us to live in his presence. That plan was salvation through the sacrifice of the perfect and blameless Jesus, God’s son. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty for the sins of every man. But in order for that to happen, each of us has to make the individual decision to turn away from and reject the life of sin we naturally fall in to. We have to choose God over sin.
Nothing we do is enough to equal what Jesus did for us through his death on the cross
Several years ago a Christian song title, “It Wouldn’t Be Enough” hit the airwaves. Its message perfectly sums up the fact that anything we do or offer is nothing compared to the gift of salvation. The first verse and chorus go like this:
If I had all the riches this world had to give
All the comfort that it brings
Never needing anything
I could search the whole earth over far and wide
Trying to find this precious love
That was sent down from above…
And it wouldn’t be enough
No it wouldn’t be enough
To buy one splinter on the tree Jesus died on
And I couldn’t pay the price
For one single drop of blood
That was shed for my salvation
Anything we sacrifice pales in comparison to the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf
The sacrifices we make for being a Christian can range anywhere from not watching a movie or attending a party to giving up a relationship, a job, or in some cases, your life. God isn’t sitting around awarding points to the biggest sacrifice maker, though. The size and scope of the sacrifices you make don’t make you any more saved, either. No, God is looking at your heart.
Are you living gratefully and obediently? That’s what God is looking for. Remember: We can’t out-give God. But we need to give our all.
So from the viewpoint of worthiness or earning salvation, the answer to the questions of whether or not we deserve salvation is in fact, no.
Standing on the promises of God
But if you look at this question from the viewpoint of deserving salvation because you are faithful and obedient to God’s commands, then your answer could be yes. Yes, you are confident in claiming the promises of God to give you salvation and eternal life in heaven.
This ‘type’ of deservedness isn’t because of anything you do on your own. It’s more like it is merited or justified because of what you do through Jesus. You do what is commanded and expected of you, so you are justified in claiming the promises made to you for doing so.
God promises you will be saved if you put your faith in Jesus’ death on the cross. So when you do, you are (deserving) justified in expecting God to keep his promises. That’s faith, plain and simple.
God’s promises to save us are found throughout scripture:
- John 3:16
- Philippians 4:9
- Titus 1:2
- John 1:12
- Hebrews 4:16
- Acts 2:38-39
No, but…and that’s my final answer
Salvation is a gift, plain and simple. It is, however, a gift with strings attached (faithful obedience). But it is a gift with guarantees and promises, too. And that makes salvation a gift you can claim with justifiable confidence when you do what is commanded and expected of you in order to receive it.
~ By Darla Noble