ephesians 6:2

anonymous asked:

Why should I chose Christ instead of Buddhism?

Compared with Buddhism, Christianity has several distinguishing features that show that it deserves consideration.

First, while both Christianity and Buddhism have an historical central figure, namely Jesus and Buddha, only Jesus is shown to have risen from the dead. Many people in history have been wise teachers. Many have started religious movements. Siddhartha Guatama, the historical Buddha also called Sakyamuni, stands out among them for having special wisdom and a profound philosophy of life. But Jesus also stands out, and He has confirmed His spiritual teachings with a test that only divine power could pass. Jesus’ body of teachings is confirmed by the death and resurrection of His literal body—a fact which He prophesied and fulfilled in Himself (Matthew 16:21;20:18-19;Mark 8:31;1Luke 9:22;John 20-21;1 Corinthians 15). Jesus deserves special consideration.

Second, the Christian Scriptures are historically outstanding, deserving serious consideration. One could even say that the history of the Bible is so compelling that to doubt the Bible is to doubt history itself since the Bible is the most historically verifiable book of all antiquity. The only book more historically verifiable than the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) is the New Testament. Consider the following:

1) More manuscripts exist for the New Testament than for any other of antiquity—5,000 ancient Greek manuscripts, 24,000 in all including other languages. The multiplicity of manuscripts allows for a tremendous research base by which we can test the texts against each other and identify what the originals said.

2) The manuscripts of the New Testament are closer in age to the originals than are any other document of antiquity. All of the originals were written within the time of the contemporaries (eyewitnesses), in the first century A.D., and we currently have parts of manuscript dating back to A.D. 125. Whole book copies surface by A.D. 200, and the complete New Testament can be found dating back to A.D. 250. Having all the books of the New Testament initially written within the times of eyewitnesses means that the books did not have time to devolve into myth and folklore. Plus, their truth claims were held accountable by members of the Church who, as personal witnesses to the events, could check the facts.

3) The New Testament documents are more accurate than any other of antiquity. John R. Robinson inHonest to Godreports that the New Testament documents are 99.9 percent accurate (most accurate of any complete antique book). Bruce Metzger, an expert in the Greek New Testament, suggests a more modest 99.5 percent.

Third, Christian ethics has a stronger foundation than Buddhist ethics. Christian ethics is founded in the personal character of God. God is personal and moral. His nature is good, and therefore all actions which align with His goodness are actually good. Whatever departs from His goodness is actually evil. For Buddhists, however, ultimate reality is not understood as personal. But morality by its very nature requires personality. To illustrate, consider the morality of a rock. One does not blame a rock for being used in a murder since it is not a person with moral duties. Rather, the moral duty lies with the person who used that rock for evil purposes. Buddhism lacks the personal framework for moral duty. With Buddhism, karma is the framework for morality. But karma is impersonal. It is akin to a law of nature. Breaking a karmic “rule” is not intrinsically evil. There seems to be no significant difference between error (non-moral mistakes) and sin (moral wrongdoing).

Furthermore, many Buddhists even assert that the dualities of “good” and “evil” ultimately break down. “Good” and “evil” would be part ofmaya, the illusory world of sensory reality. The categories of morality are not grand enough to map onto ultimate reality, and enlightened individuals will see that good and evil blur into one. But such a position means that ultimate reality would not be “good.” It wouldn’t be “evil” either, but then what assurance exists that “ultimate reality” is even a worthwhile pursuit? And what grounds would there be for living a morally good life as opposed to an amoral life without regard for moral distinctions, or an inactive life avoiding moral choices as much as possible? If Buddhism asserts that reality is not ultimately personal and the distinctions between good and evil are not actually real, then Buddhism does not have a true foundation for ethics. Christianity, on the other hand, can point to the character of God as personally founding morality and providing a basis to distinguish good from evil.

Fourth, Christianity rightly appreciates “desire.” Buddhist ethics seems to have a core difficulty at this point. Sakyamuni taught thattanha, “desire” or “attachment,” is the root of suffering and is to be dissolved. But some admittedly good things are based on the idea of desire. Love, for example, is “to desire the good of another” (John 15:13;1 John 4:7-12). One could not even love unless one had a degree of attachment in desiring someone else’s well-being. In contrast, Christianity teaches that desire is good when it is properly directed. Paul urges Christians to “desire the greater gifts” of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:31;14:1). In the Psalms, we see pictures of worshipers longing for and desiring fellowship with God (Psalm 42:1-2;84). And, of course, God does not simply act loving, He is love (1 John 4:9;Psalm 136;John 3:16). Sacrificing desire altogether seems to throw out the proverbial baby (love) with the dirty bathwater (suffering).

Fifth is the question “What do you do with your sin?” Buddhism has at least two ideas of sin. Sin is sometimes understood as ignorance. It is sinful if one does not see or understanding reality as Buddhism defines it. However, in Buddhism, there is still an idea of moral error termed “sin.” To do something deliberately evil, to break a spiritual or earthly law, or to desire wrong things, these would be identifiable sins. But, this latter definition of sin points to a kind of moral error that requires real atonement. From where can atonement rise? Can atonement come by adherence to karmic principles? Karma is impersonal and amoral. One could do good works to even the balance, but one cannot ever dispose of sin. Karma does not even provide a context whereby moral error is even moral. Whom have we offended if we sin in private? Karma does not care one way or the other because karma is not a person. Can atonement come by prayer or devotion to a Bodhisattva or a Buddha? Even if those characters could offer forgiveness, it seems like sin would still be left unpaid. They would forgive sin showing it to be excusable; it is not a big deal.

Christianity, on the other hand, has the only adequate theological view of sin. In Christianity sin is moral error. Ever since Adam, humans have been sinful creatures. Sin is real. And it sets an infinite gap between man and bliss. Sin demands justice. But it cannot be “balanced out” with an equal or greater amount of good works. If someone has ten times more good works than bad works, then he or she still has bad works on the conscience. What happens to these remaining bad works? Are they just forgiven as if they were not a big deal in the first place? Are they permitted into bliss? Are they mere illusions thus leaving no problem whatsoever? None of these options are suitable.

Concerning illusion, sin is too real to us to be explained away as illusion. Concerning our sinfulness, when we are honest with ourselves we all know that we have sinned. Concerning forgiveness, to simply forgive sin at no cost treats sin like it is not of much consequence even though we know that to be false. Concerning bliss, bliss is not much good if sin keeps getting smuggled in. It seems like the scales of karma leave us with sin on our hearts and bliss either cannot tolerate us, or it must cease being perfect so that we can come in.

Christianity has an answer for sin. No sin goes unpunished, but the punishment has already been satisfied in Christ’s personal sacrifice on the cross. God became man, lived a perfect life, and died the death that we deserved. He was crucified on our behalf, a substitute for us, and a covering, or atonement, for our sins. Furthermore, He was resurrected, proving that not even death could conquer Him. He promises the same resurrection unto eternal life for all who put their faith in Him as their only Lord and Savior (Romans 3:10,23;6:23;8:12;10:9-10;Ephesians 2:8-9;Philippians 3:21).

This is no “easy believism” where God, like a janitor, just cleans up all our mistakes. Rather, this is a life-long commitment where we take on a new nature and begin a new relationship with God Himself (Romans 6:1;Ephesians 2:1-10). When a person really believes God is who He says He is in the Bible, and really believes God did what He says He did in the Bible, and a person puts his or her life on that belief—that person is transformed. He becomes a new creation by the power of God (2 Corinthians 5:17). You cannot stay the same once you have that belief. One could just as easily continue reading the morning paper after realizing his house was on fire. That knowledge (the house is on fire) motivates action and changes your life (stop reading the paper and do something about the fire).

Nor is Jesus simply an answer among many others. All the world’s religions have some level of truth in them, but ultimately, Jesus is the only answer to the human condition. Meditation, works, prayer—none of these can make us worthy of the infinite and eternal gift of heaven. None of these can undo the sin we’ve done. Only when Christ pays our sin debt and we place our faith in Him can we be saved. Only then is sin covered, hope assured, and life filled with eternal meaning.

Finally, it is only in Christianity that we can know that we are saved. We do not have to rely on some fleeting experience, nor do we rely on our own good works or fervent meditation. Nor do we put our faith in a false god whom we are trying to “believe-into-existence.” We have a living and true God, an historically anchored faith, an abiding and testable revelation of God (Scripture), and a guaranteed home in heaven with God.

So, what does this mean for you? Jesus is the ultimate reality! Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for your sins. God offers all of us forgiveness and salvation if we will simply receive His gift to us (John 1:12), believing Jesus to be the Savior who laid down His life for us, His friends. If you place your trust in Jesus as your Savior, you will have absolute assurance of eternal life in heaven. God will forgive your sins, cleanse your soul, renew your spirit, give you abundant life in this world, and eternal life in the next world. How can we reject such a precious gift? How can we turn our backs on God who loved us enough to sacrifice Himself for us?

Who does God say that I am?

“God loves me and has chosen me.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:4

“I have been chosen of God, and I am holy and beloved.” ~ Colossians 3:12

“Christ is in my life, and I will be revealed with Him in glory.” ~ Colossians 3:4

“I have been brought near to God by the blood of Christ.” ~ Ephesians 2:13

“I am a member of Christ’s body and a partaker of His promise.” ~ Ephesians 3:6

“I have boldness and confident access to God through faith in Christ.” ~ Ephesians 3:12

“My new self is righteous and holy.” ~ Ephesians 4:24

“I was formerly darkness but now I am light in the Lord.” ~ Ephesians 5:8

“I am a citizen of heaven.” ~ Philippians 3:20

“God supplies all my needs.” ~ Philippians 4:19

“I have been raised up with Christ.” ~ Colossians 3:1

“I have been made complete in Christ.” ~ Colossians 2:10

“I am a child of God.” ~ John 12

“I am a friend of Jesus.” ~ John 15:15

“I have been justified and redeemed.” ~ Romans 3:24

“I have been accepted by Christ.” ~ Romans 15:7

“I have been called to be a saint.” ~ 1 Corinthians 1:2

“My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19

“I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:17

“I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God.” ~ Ephesians 1:4

“I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ.” ~ Ephesians 1:7

“I have been predestined by God to obtain an inheritance.” ~ Ephesians 1:11

“ Because of God’s mercy and love, I have been made alive with Christ.” ~ Ephesians 2:4-5

“I am complete in Him who is head of all principality and power.” ~ Colossians 2:10

“I am alive with Christ.” ~ Ephesians 2:5

“I am free from the law of sin and death.” ~ Romans 8:2

“I am far from oppression and fear does not come near me.” ~ Isaiah 54:14

“I am born of God and the evil one does not touch me.” ~ 1 John 5:18

“I have the mind of Christ.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:16

“I have the peace of God that passes all understanding.” ~ Philippians 4:7

“I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world.” ~ 1 John 4:4

“I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ.” ~ Romans 5:17

“I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened.” ~ Ephesians 1:17-18

“I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me.” ~ Colossians 3:9-10

“I have no lack for my God supplies all of my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:19

“I can do all things through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:13

“I show forth the praises of God Who has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light.” ~ 1 Peter 2:9

“I am God’s child for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which lives and abides forever.” ~ 1 Peter 1:23

“I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works.” ~ Ephesians 2:10

“I am a new creature in Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

“I am a spirit being alive to God.” ~ Romans 6:11

“I am a believer, and the light of the Gospel shines in my mind.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:4

“I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my actions.” ~ James 1:22

“I am a joint-heir with Christ.” ~ Romans 8:17

“I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me.” ~ Romans 8:37

“I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony.” ~ Revelation 12:11

“I am a partaker of His divine nature.” ~ 2 Peter 1:3-4

“I am an ambassador for Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:20

“I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people.” ~ 1 Peter 2:9

“I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

“I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am not my own.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19

“I am the head and not the tail; I am above only and not beneath.” ~ Deuteronomy 28:13

“I am the light of the world.” ~ Matthew 5:14

I" am His elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and long suffering.“ ~ Romans 8:33.

"I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood.” ~ Ephesians 1:7

“I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom.” ~ Colossians 1:13

“I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty.” ~ Deuteronomy 28:15-68

“I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith and overflowing with gratitude.” ~ Colossians 2:7

“I am called of God to be the voice of His praise.” ~ Psalm 66:8

“I am healed by the stripes of Jesus.” ~ Isaiah 53:5

“I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places.” ~ Ephesians 2:6

“I am greatly loved by God.” ~ Romans 1:7

“I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power.” ~ Colossians 1:11

“I am submitted to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the Name of Jesus.” ~ James 4:7

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.” ~ Philippians 3:14

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

“It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me.” ~ Galatians 2:20

“I am a place where God’s spirit lives.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19

“I am God’s incredible work of art.” ~ Ephesians 2:10

“I am totally and completely forgiven.” ~ 1 John 1:9

“I am created in God’s likeness.” ~ Ephesians 4:24

“I am spiritually alive.” ~ Ephesians 2:5

“I am God’s messenger to the world.” ~ Acts 1:8

“I am the salt of the earth.” ~ Matthew 5:13

“I am the light of the world.” ~ Matthew 5:14

“I am greatly loved.” ~ Romans 5:8

SEVENTEEN GIF REACTION #2

Request: can u make a seventeen version of ‘their reaction when their son gives them an attitude when theyre scolding them’? (that would be me lmao)

admin k: on a side note, i can’t wait for seventeen’s fanmeet here in auckland! is anyone else here from new zealand that’s going? i’m so keen for the photo op or hi touch bc goddamn jeonghan in person would slay me

S.COUPS

“No, you’re not hearing what I’m saying! I’m not saying this because I’m trying to be mean, I’m saying this because I just want to look out for you!”

The “I’m trying to relate to you and continue to be the cool dad but at the end of the day all it is is me caring about you so don’t act like this” kind of dad.

Originally posted by soon-cheol

JEONGHAN

“No, that’s final. Drop the attitude. My house, my rules, boy.”

The “I’m not taking anymore of your shit” kind of dad.

Originally posted by sugarjisoo

JOSHUA

“Did I raise you to disrespect your father like this? Did I raise you to be a disobedient child? ”

The “recites Ephesians chapter 6 verses 2 to 3 and Proverbs chapter 10 verse 1“ dad.

Originally posted by svt17-carat

JUN

“Alright, listen here. I’m not tolerating anymore of your attitude, do you hear me? Go to your room.”

The “I’m in charge here, what I say goes, and I say we’re done here” kind of dad.

Originally posted by wonweewoo

HOSHI

“Do you want me to fix your ears for you? Or are you just not processing what I’m saying?”

The “I’m slowly getting angry but I’m going to hold it in because you’re young and it’s kind of my fault you’re like this” kind of dad.

Originally posted by gyuhan-17

WONWOO

The “what did I do to deserve this?” kind of dad who zones out when he realises that nothing he’s saying is getting through his son’s head.

Originally posted by satanteen17

WOOZI

"What? Did you just say that to me?”

The “lower yourself, being taller than me doesn’t mean you have authority in this house” kind of dad who would probably pull his son down lower than his height so he could scold him properly.

Originally posted by ftwonwoo

DK

The “you’re giving me such a big headache right now, I don’t want to deal with thiskind of dad.

Originally posted by dokyummm

MINGYU

“Oh, okay, I see how it is now! I raise you and care for you all these years and you want to be like this with me! Okay! Cool!” (note: omg pls let me know if this isn’t mingyu bc i’m rlly doubting myself rn)

The “tries to guilt trip his son by recalling every single thing he has ever done for him, from being Santa when he was little to crediting his sperm with his creation” kind of dad.

Originally posted by seokmin---s

THE8

“Really? Are you really going to make both of our lives difficult by being a brat?”

The “I’m trying to eat right now, come back later” kind of dad.

Originally posted by meowminghao

SEUNGKWAN

“Hmm? Sorry, what was that?”

The “bitch I don’t care if you’re my son, fight me” kind of dad who eyes his son out until he gives up and retreats.

Originally posted by pledisseventeen

VERNON

The “raises his voice to get his point across” kind of dad.

Originally posted by gyuhan-17

DINO

The “is taken aback by his son’s attitude that he forgets what he was saying” kind of dad.

Originally posted by jackseunie

We were not called to be like Jesus just figuratively. God’s purpose is that we be like Jesus in every way possible. He became man to prove that this is possible.
We will be changed, we will live forever (1 Corinthians 15:51). Hebrews says that he is sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, and we will be seated together with Him (Ephesians 2:6). In 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 says that we will judge the world and the angels with him.
Do not think that belief in God and his salvation through Jesus will just bring you a little place in heaven, God’s purpose for our lives is far greater. Our responsabilities are too.
—  Anne Nascn | What’s Christianity to you?

“8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10

I love Tim Tebow :] 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
—  Ephesians 2:8-10
He came and preached peace to those who were afar off and to those who were near

The beauty of the [true] Gospel is that no matter what you do or how you feel, you are continually in the presence of the Father. Always united. Forever safe. Simply because He has joined Himself to humanity! What rest there is for the one who enters this understanding. Or perhaps the one who this understanding enters. It tends to take hold of you. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Your Rest will come, because He already has.

From the very beginning… God created man, naked, in a garden where everything was created and provided for him. Everything was in place before Adam even was. Then the Lord proceeds to bring every animal in front of Adam to name them. Doesn’t sound like Adam did a whole lot of work there, just naming things. And he and God would take a nice little walk in the cool of the day. It sounds like rest was the initial intention to me.

Now Israel was unable to enter His rest because of their unbelief. In Psalm 95 we are told some of the story as david proclaims, “do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, when your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. For forty years I was grieved with that generation, and said ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, and they do not know My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.’” This is reiterated in a reference in Hebrews that tells us Israel could not enter His rest because of unbelief. Clearly this idea of rest is something worth taking another look at, there must be something more here than we have previously recognized.

You may be thinking, “That is why we have the sabbath, that is what sundays are.” Well, you know, good ole sabbath Sundays are simply a type or a shadow of what the Father really had in mind. The substance of which is Jesus and the fact that He dwells inside of you. Your rest is now continual. Your rest is the fact that you are completely encompassed in everything that the Father is. Your life is now an overflow of the reality that Jesus Christ has taken up residence within every fiber of who you are. Life is the overflow and manifestation of this truth. Namely, “That you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”

Here is what Angles proclaim of Jesus at His birth in Luke 2;

“Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace, goodwill in men!”

Formerly, man was not at rest. God has never not been at rest with us. The disconnect, disbelief, was always on mans side. The Father and His Son came to bring man to the understanding that they are at peace with God and with themselves. There has always been a fairly common at odds with each other among men, however, a result of knowing that you yourself are not at odds with the Father or even yourself, is a peace and rest that manifests into all of your relationships.

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one [Jew and Gentile… this passage was written to Gentiles 2:12 "at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise”. What Paul is saying in modern christian jargon is they are the world. People we would deem “unsaved”.], and has broken down the middle wall of separation. Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God" - Ephesians 2:14-19

In Christ there is now one new man, one human race, one body. The body of Christ.

“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all… Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh… God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” 2 corinthians 5:14-19, kinda. You can read it all if you’d like.

But what I’m getting at is this; Christ has accomplished all there is to accomplish. Ephesians 1:10 says that “Christ has gathered all things in Himself, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-in Him.” He is the fullness and the expression. The substance and the shadow. Hebrews 1:3 “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person” He is the image of the invisible God.The expression of His likeness. Francois Du Toit puts it like this, “He is not an example for us but of us”.Mankind was, from the beginning, created in Gods image and likeness. Christ has brought the true opinion of who we are and our true nature back to be the dominating influence in us.

Paul’s message was to those who would have felt alienated, estranged and left out. Those who were excluded. And his message was peace, hope, joy. Love and acceptance. Inclusion. What rest there is for those who enter this understanding. Especially considering it is waiting for you it is all around you regardless of whether you enter it or not. “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” Hebrews 4:1. Here is your salvation; you and God are good, He is for you. He is in you. Now rest in this truth that everything is good, even when it does not seem or feel that way. Believe that God is good. Better than you could ever fathom, imagine or comprehend. And all that awesomeness is all about you!

Where'd All the Good People Go?

“The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” – Psalm 14:2-3

Nothing makes me squirm more than these statements: “I’m a good person,” “You’re a good person,” and “He’s a good person.”

This is a way of saying that you like someone, or that you look up to them, but the literal phrasing, “good person,” is an oxymoron as far as humans are concerned.

We may claim to be seeking God, but often we don’t wish to find Him. We may hope to be wise, but not if it means being holy. We may donate to charity, hug a child, or excel at our jobs, but these things are often done not out of totally selfless love but out of pride, guilt, or fear – wanting to believe we’re “not like those other guys,” that we can somehow “make up” for past mistakes, or that our good deeds will keep us from punishment.

These are selfish reasons to be good. Martin Luther languished in guilt because, despite his overwhelming determination to be the best monk he could be, he knew that none of his deeds were performed with a happy heart. He wasn’t alone – it’s essentially impossible to find anyone whose motivations are completely pure. How often do you see someone sacrifice their needs, desires, and possessions without any hope of personal gain or satisfaction? How often do you perform anonymous, selfless acts of love for strangers and enemies?

I know it’s never my first choice for the weekend.

We are God’s creation, and God called His creation “very good” (Gen. 1:31). But since creation, humanity has fallen into sin. Selfless love still exists, and selfless actions do occur, but these things are “by grace… through faith… not from yourselves… the gift of God… not by works, that no man may boast”; rather, “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works…” (Ephesians 2:8,9, emphasis added).

I can’t call myself a good person, but that doesn’t condemn me to hopelessness, and it doesn’t excuse a sinful lifestyle. Through the grace of Jesus Christ, I can do what is impossible with man, for as Jesus Himself said, “With God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26), and Paul echoed, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus … I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 1:6, 4:13).

When we finally acknowledge how corrupt and sinful our hearts are, we try everything to change ourselves outwardly – charity, education, health, etc – but only God can change us inwardly and make us righteous.

“Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” – Genesis 15:6

“… ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” – Zechariah 4:6

“…Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the Lord.” – Jeremiah 9:23-24

Related:
First Sunday of Lent
Second Sunday of Lent
Third Sunday of Lent

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work.
—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom. That’s because we belong to Christ Jesus.
—  Ephesians 2:6