"One drop of the blood of Christ is worth more than all the good works ever done in the history of man."
My dear friend and brother in Christ Larry Voas said these words in a service yesterday at the retirement community where we minister.
Truer words of grace and mercy were never spoken.
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5).
"God... hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (II Timothy 1:8; 9).
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
"A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Galatians 2:16).
"If Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (Romans 4:1-2).
The words "not" and "works" are inseparable companions concerning the redemptive purposes of God. We are saved by grace through faith unto good works, but not by them. Our Lord's works on our behalf are the justifying means of our salvation, and also the guarantor of preserving our relationship with Him.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (I Peter 1:3-5).
Our problem with sin was far too great for our own doings to avail on our behalf. The works of the Lord Jesus, however, are another matter altogether. A perfect lifetime qualified Him to be "a Lamb without blemish and without spot." A bloody death of shame, sorrow, agony, and forsakenness by God and man established Him as the only hope humanity has and the only hope humanity needs for forgiveness, salvation, and an eternity of peace, joy, and belovedness. His works are the issue. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else (I Peter 1:19).
"Not by works... not according to our works... not of works" - Larry was right, and faithfully declared the Gospel message of a grace and mercy based on the doings of Another on our behalf. Let us consider the blessed thought again: "One drop of Christ's blood is worth more than all the good works ever done in the history of man." Or as the Apostle Paul blessedly proclaimed...
"We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace."