If you want to be declared righteous before God based on your own efforts and have eternal life, how good do you have to be?
Jesus tells us what the greatest commandment is.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:36–40
The Bible also tells us:
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. James 2:10
Can any of us say we love the Lord with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves perfectly, all the time? Who of us hasn’t stolen, even something small? Which one of us hasn’t lied or coveted? Jesus said that any of us who looks with lust on another has committed adultery in our hearts! That’s why Paul says:
“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law…”
But there is great news. Jesus is a greater Savior than you are a sinner. He took on the curse of God’s law, the curse we deserve.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written:
“Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
And the prophet Isaiah wrote:
“… He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
God can forgive us and give us eternal life because Jesus took on the curse.
Trust in Jesus alone for your salvation, the Savior God sent because we are not and cannot be good before God.