Devotional: Salvation is God’s gift, not God’s obligation

“Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”
— Romans 4:4-5

Read Romans 4

Paul puts it so clearly: when we work, wages are not given to us as a gift but as an obligation. But that’s the opposite of how salvation works with the law.

It’s safe to say that we can’t work our own way to salvation. No human being (apart from Jesus) has ever been successful in following the laws completely. So, if your intention to follow God’s laws is so that you can be saved, you’re essentially saying to God, “Hey! I don’t want your gift. I can do it myself.”

Because we can’t work our way to salvation, salvation is not an obligation from God for our works. It is a gift.

And that is why we need faith. Paul tells us that if we trust in God rather than the law (and really, our own ability), we will receive righteousness as a gift and salvation as a result of that.

So, to the person that needs to hear this: stop trying to live your life with your own strength. There’s no use in trying to work our way into heaven.

Place your trust in God for He holds your salvation in a safe place (1 Peter 1:3-4).

Have faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. Jesus was completely obedient, even to the point of death! That’s something that we could never do, so let’s trust in Him above all.