Saturday, 6 November 2010

I don't take charity!

In our society in which many people believe it's their right to be supported without doing a bit of work, there are still those who believe in the virtue of work, however, it can make certain Biblical truths unpalatable. 

The Bible tells us that salvation is a free gift, which can't be merited or bought.  Many people recoil against that because, as they say, "I don't take charity"; "I work for everything I get"; "I pay every debt I owe".  Here's the point they miss or refuse to see: it's perfectly admirable not to take charity when you don't need it; it's good to work for something when you have the power, or pay your way if you have the money, however, if you are in need and you can't work, or in debt and you can't pay, then what you need is charity.  There's nothing wrong in accepting charity if you need it, and that's exactly the position the Bible says we are in.

God isn't offering salvation as a gift because He doesn't want us to work for it or pay for it; He is offering salvation as a gift because we can't work for it or pay for it.  We are helpless, bankrupt sinners, with a criminal record our good works can't clear and a massive debt that no amount of money can cover.  Think about it - if God's standard is perfection, and we have sinned, what can we ever do to meet God's standard?  If you lived perfectly today you are only doing for one day what God demands for your whole life.  God has no quota of sins that He allows you to commit; there is no tolerance - there can't be, He is absolute in His righteousness.  That's why we are "without strength" (Romans 5 v 6) to earn acceptance with God and a place in heaven.

And that is why we have to put our trust in the Lord Jesus to rescue us.  He paid sin's penalty on the cross, and, as proof of that, God raised Him from the dead, and He is our only hope.

It's good if you have paid your way in life and worked for all you've got, but if you're ever going to be right with God and be in heaven, you are going to have to admit that you are a charity case, in need of a massive hand-out.  You can't work your way out of danger, you need a Saviour, and there's One available - He responds immediately and effectively to all who acknowledge their need and turn to Him.  Abandon your pride and take the gracious offer of charity from the Lord Jesus Christ today.

The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6 v 23).