19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
We’ve all heard the stories of the odds of winning the Mega Millions Lottery game (by the way it’s 1 in 135,145,920). These stories usually go on to tell you that you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning (1 in 700,000), becoming the President (1 in 10,000,000), or being attacked by a shark (1 in 11,500,000).
But do you know what the odds are that you will stand before God justified based on your own works? Zero!
That’s right, the Bible makes it clear here that no one, not one, nobody will be justified before God by keeping the law. This is not a slim chance, nor a slight possibility, it’s a zero probability.
Now many of us have heard this over and over again and we will often affirm it if we were asked, but the fact of the matter is that most of us often live in such a way as to believe that our good works, our keeping the law, our morality somehow effects our salvation. We do this because it is in our nature; it’s our default setting, not to mention that generally that is how we get approval in life – we work hard so our boss will see our good deeds and give us a raise or promotion.
God doesn’t work that way and though we may say we believe it, we need to act like we believe it, that our salvation, our rescue from a life of sin, can only come by the work of another and that person is Jesus Christ who not only died for our sins, but he lived the life we could not live, and that life he lived has been given to us as if we lived it ourselves.
The odds of being justified by our own works – Zero. The odds of being justified by the work of Christ – 100%.