Not By Good Deeds Alone

J. D. Conley
June 5, 2016

There are people we meet in life that make an impact upon us simply by their acts of kindness and good deeds. Thoughtful and kind people cause us to retain our faith in the human race and stave off cynicism, that otherwise, would creep in and taint our associations with people.

But the performance of good deeds alone is insufficient to gamer eternal salvation. If man were in charge of salvation, he'd doubtless save folks based on the number of good deeds they did and the thoughtfulness they expressed. This would be man's standard of salvation, but it is not God's. This does not mean acts of kindness and good deeds are for naught. The Scriptures are replete with admonitions to do good, (cf., Mt. 5:16; 7:24-25, Gal. 5:22-23, Jas. 4:17, IPet. 3:11, etc.). Doing good is an absolute requirement for salvation, (Jas. 1:22, 25, Rev.22:12, 14). But, doing good deeds alone cannot remit sin. No matter how kind, thoughtful, and generous a person might be they cannot be saved while in their sins.

Cornelius was a good moral man. Luke says of him, "There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway"(Acts 10:1-2). One would be hard pressed to find an equal to Cornelius in the Bible. He was of sterling character being devoutly religious and teaching his family to be likewise. He was generous and "gave much alms to the people." He was also very conscientious and "prayed to God alway." One can rest assured that Cornelius being religious, generous, and prayerful, was a man full of good works. But in spite of all the good he did and the good person he was, he was lost. An angel was dispatched and told him to call for Peter and "he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do" (Acts 10:6). After hearing Peter's sermon about baptism and the remission of sins, (Acts 10:34-48), Cornelius and other Gentiles were baptized.

As good as Cornelius was, he was lost. His vast amount of good deeds and morals alone, could not save him. A million good deeds cannot forgive or nullify a single sin. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can accomplish that! May this fact register with every Cornelius type today.

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!