Can You Save Yourself?
June 28, 2007 • By Ed Wrather
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.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. - Titus 3:5.
For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23.
A 78-year-old woman was riding in the front passenger seat of a taxi on the Autobahn in Germany when the driver suddenly had a heart attack and died. The taxi slammed against the guardrail, but the woman did not panic. Instead, she knocked the car out of gear, and then used the car’s hand brake to bring the car to a stop about 300 yards later. Her quick thinking and reaction most likely saved her life and the lives of others.
Can you save yourself? Sometimes. The 78-year-old woman taxi passenger was able to save herself from serious injury or death by her quick and wise actions. Can you save others? Sometimes. The woman by her actions very likely saved others from injury or even death.
Because we can sometimes save ourselves and sometimes save others from physical injury or death, we tend to think the same thing when it comes to the spiritual. This is the most common misunderstanding about the spiritual realities. We can save ourselves physically so we think we can save ourselves spiritually. However, it simply is not possible. The most common misconception about the spiritual realities is in thinking that we can bring about salvation by doing good deeds. This misconception about the spiritual realities would have you to believe that you just have to do more good things than you do bad things and you will have saved yourself. The spiritual truth is that all have sinned, fallen short of God’s perfection (Romans 3:23). James tells us in James 2:10, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” The penalty for those sins is death (Romans 6:23).
The Bible tells us that Jesus died for our sins:
John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son….”
Romans 5:6 - “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
Romans 5:8 - “…while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Romans 6:10 - “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all.”
1 Corinthians 15:3 - “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.”
Hebrews 9:12 - “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”
Hebrews 10:10 - “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
1 Peter 3:18 - “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”
If we could save ourselves spiritually, why would it be necessary for Christ to die? If there had been any other way for us to be saved, if we could save ourselves, it would have been unnecessary for Christ to die. If we could save ourselves, we would not need a Savior. If we could save ourselves, we would not call Jesus our Savior. If we could save ourselves the Name of Jesus would not be the Name above all names (Philippians 2:9), because our name would be just as powerful. To say that you can work your way to Heaven by doing more good deeds than bad, is to make yourself equal with Jesus.
No, we cannot save ourselves spiritually. Therefore, let us give all the honor, all the praise, and all of the glory to Jesus because He suffered and died for us that we might have a Savior.