Pristine Grace

Accepted With God By Jesus Christ
by Bill Parker

     I read an article the other day where the writer stated that it is the holy motives of true believers that make their works acceptable to God. Brethren, we need to be clear on this issue and recognize that such human reasoning is against God’s revealed Word. It is heresy. Now it is very true that when God the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual life from Christ in the new birth to His people that He establishes within their new hearts the holy motives of grace, love, and gratitude from which they are to obey Christ and follow Him. He gives them the spirit of repentance by which they are humbled before God and recognize their whole access to God is by His grace and mercy in Christ Jesus and based on His righteousness alone. This is the work of God, and God does look upon this work with favor – “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits” (Prov. 16:1-2). “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

     These motives are holy, not because we as believers exercise them with sinless perfection. We still have the corruption and contamination of the flesh that keeps us from perfection even in our motivations to obey God. They are holy because they are given to us by God in Christ, and they are truly separate from the sinful, legal, and mercenary motives of the natural man that inspire him in false religion. But do not be confused about this – It is not the motives of grace, love, and gratitude that make our works acceptable with God. IT IS THE BLOOD OF CHRIST ALONE WHEREBY WE OURSELVES (as sinners saved by grace – Eph. 2:8-10) AND OUR WORKS (which are the works of Christ Himself through us – Gal. 2:19-21; Php. 2:12-13) ARE ACCEPT ED WITH GOD – “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, ACCEPTABLE TO GOD BY JESUS CHRIST” (1 Peter 2:5).

     Our righteousness before God, by which we are justified and accepted with Him, is not in any merit or perfection of our motives. It is all Christ’s righteousness freely imputed to us by God’s grace, and this glorious truth establishes our God-given motives of grace, love, and gratitude (Heb. 13:9). Our continual prayer is that in any of our efforts to obey God, let it all be for His glory in Christ Jesus and for the good of others.