Good deeds alone don’t please God. Internal change does. It’s only by God’s grace through our faith which leads to transformation can we be saved.
Where in the Bible does it say “good deeds will get you into heaven?” If so, what is considered a good deed? If good deeds get you in, how many do you have to do? What percentage of good versus bad deeds must there be to be accepted?
We’ve heard some pastors say the following will lead to eternal salvation in heaven:
- Regular church attendance
- Active participation
- Giving to the poor
- Helping the needy
- Acts of kindness
- Being a nice person
If you believe the above, you’ll be mistaken when you stand in front of God one day. The above belief, while not often preached overtly, is commonly referred to as the “works gospel.” It implies a person can “work their way into heaven.”
Scripture is clear that internal change pleases God. It’s only by God’s grace through our faith which leads to transformation can we make it into heaven.
Here is what God says:
- Our righteous works are like filthy rags to Him (Isaiah 64:6 NLT).
- The Pharisees thought they were justified by their works, but were wrong (Luke 18:9-14 NLT).
- Jesus said the Pharisees needed to “clean the inside of their cups” (Matthew 23:23-28 NLT).
- We’re saved by grace through faith, not by our good deeds (Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV).
- God’s will is for us to be transformed and be like Jesus Christ (Romans 12:2, 8:29 KJV).
- The grace of God teaches us to overcome sin (Titus 2:11-12 NIV).
- The works of the flesh are evident, but the Holy Spirit helps us overcome (Galatians 5:16-25 KJV).
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