“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:10, NIV 1984).
My Musings – There are many who believe that living a “good enough” life will get them into Heaven. The 64,000 question is, of course, good compared to what? What standard is it that will tell us if we’ve been good enough? And is the standard the same for everyone? Is the standard applied differently depending upon the particular circumstances? If one were looking for certainty, there seems to be more questions than answers.
Unless God’s Word is your standard. Then as the above text states, the standard is 100%. For “whoever…stumbles at just one point” has failed the entrance exam, just the same as one who “is guilty of breaking all of it.” But is there any other evidence in the Scriptures besides this text from James that, Martin Luther once called the “epistle of straw?”
Of course, the answer is yes, and one need read no further than the second chapter of the first book (Genesis) of the Bible. “The LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’” (Genesis 2:16–17, NIV 1984). There was only one prohibition in the Garden, and mankind stumbled at that “one point.”
Since the Garden, a host of prohibitions (thou shalt not) and commandments (thou shalt) were introduced to govern our conduct of what is right and what is wrong. These were necessary due to the loss of our innocence. And throughout the course of history there has not been one prohibition or commandment that has not been broken by someone, and no individual that has never broken at least one. This is why God’s Word also says, “all have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:3, NIV 1984). No one.
My Advice – This begs the question, “who then can be saved?” (Matthew 19:25, NIV 1984). Who indeed? “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26, NIV 1984). To make this possible, “the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14, NIV 1984). “That whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16–18, NIV 1984).
Do you want certainty? You can be certain that being “good enough” cannot save you. You can be certain, that you stand “condemned already.” That’s the bad news. The good news? Well, that is what the word Gospel means – good news. You can be saved by believing in Christ and receiving Him as your Savior. My blog series “The Born Again Experience” can show you how. Then you can be certain that you will not be condemned. That you are bound for Heaven. And that’s good enough for me.