We all fail, but with Christ there is hope and salvation

10/01/2013 4:00 PM

10/01/2013 7:51 PM

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: God must be very disappointed in me because I keep making resolutions to become a better person, and then the next thing I know I’ve broken them. The harder I try, the more I fail, and then I feel overwhelmed with guilt. Why can’t I change? — S.M.


You aren’t alone; almost everyone has tried to become a better person — and failed. The reason is simple (although we hate to admit it): Within ourselves, we don’t have the moral and spiritual strength we need to become the people we ought to be. We need God’s help — and when we turn in faith to him, he will help us.

But let me ask you a question: Why do you want to become a better person? Is it simply because you hope your life will be happier, or other people may like you more? Perhaps so, and this isn’t necessarily wrong. When we live the way God wants us to live, our lives are fuller and happier.

But I can’t help but wonder if you have another reason: By becoming a better person, you hope you’ll win a place in heaven. In other words, you hope God will reward you for your good works by letting you into heaven. But listen: No matter how good we are, we will never be good enough — and the reason is because God’s standard is nothing less than perfection.

This is why we need Christ, for by his death on the cross he fully paid the price for our salvation — a price we could never pay ourselves. By a simple prayer of faith commit your life to him. The Bible says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).


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