Good Works are not Good Enough and do not Work

Doing good works—often defined as being obedient to religious tenets and/or moral practices—is the most commonly supposed qualification for a person to go to heaven, or “to enjoy the afterlife” as some religions state. You may not know it, but Christianity is the only spiritual belief that says it is impossible to qualify for heaven by doing good works.

Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

According to the Bible, everyone by nature is a sinner and, thus, is disqualified from going to heaven.

Psalm 53:2-3, God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3 They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.

Ecclesiastes 7:20, There is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

Romans 3:12, 23, All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. . . . 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

The very best anyone could do is not good enough according to God’s standard of perfection and holiness.

Isaiah 64:6, We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

If none of us deserves heaven even by doing the “best we can” in this life, what do we deserve? According to the Bible, all of us in our natural state deserve death, both physically and spiritually. But, there is hope . . . we can have life in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

According to the Bible, a relationship with Jesus is the only prerequisite for you or anyone else to go to heaven. This relationship is due to divine grace and is based on Christ’s sacrificial love and His work on your behalf instead of your being dependent on personal efforts to gain God’s favor.

John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Romans 5:8, But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Ephesians 1:7, In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

1 John 4:9-10, In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Since our sin separates us from God, no matter how many good works we may do, the problem of sin must be dealt with. As the above verses indicate, God has provided the solution to the problem of sin. For that, we should be grateful; since our “sin problem” is the major hurdle that must be overcome for us to go to heaven.

Heaven cannot be earned, since God has graciously provided the only way to heaven through salvation in Christ Jesus. Instead of trying to measure up to some standard of righteousness proven by your deeds, you are instead to believe (trust) only in Jesus Christ and receive forgiveness of sin, a right standing with God, the gift of eternal life, and the assurance of being in heaven with Him forever.

John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Colossians 1:13-14, He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Titus 3:5-7, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

If you are trying to earn favor with God by doing good works, you should stop your efforts since good works cannot save you. Instead, simply believe that the Lord Jesus Christ gave His life’s blood to provide forgiveness for your sins. Completely rely on Him alone as your Savior. Because of His costly sacrifice, you can freely enter into a relationship with Him now and enjoy fellowship with Him for all of eternity in the life to come.


Good Works are not Good Enough and do not Work © 2012 WordTruth, Inc— Verses from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version © 2001Version by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers