Good works can’t save humans for God is a righteous Judge (Psalm 7:11). Even on earth and in our courts of law, a judge must punish law breakers. A good judge will not pardon a criminal who has committed a crime just because the criminal does good works as payment for breaking the law. The criminal must receive the due punishment for his crimes. Because if sin goes unpunished, the law would be overlooked and anarchy would fill the world.
When humanity sinned and fell (Romans 3:23), sin brought death to all “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Humans needed mercy to be saved. So, how can God show both mercy and justice at the same?
God planned a way to save mankind and also meet the just demands of His law: God sent His Son to redeem humanity by His substitutionary death on behalf of humanity “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Thus, at the cross, the Justice of God and His love were fully satisfied.
The apostle Paul wrote, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in [God’s] sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Romans 3:20–22a). Keeping the law (good works) can’t save humans for the law serves only as a mirror that points sin in the life (Romans 7:7). People don’t keep the law to be saved but because they are saved (John 14:15).
In order to be saved, every sinner must accept Jesus death by faith, repents of his ins, and follows the Lord (Ephesians 2:8–9; Romans 3:21–31; Galatians 3:6–14). Salvation is a free gift but it is up to man to receive it or reject it.
In His service,
Thank you for visiting BibleAsk – an online ministry dedicated to providing Bible based answers to your questions. If you enjoyed and agree with this answer, please like and share! If you don’t agree, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to respond! If you have another question you would like to ask, please click here and someone from our team will personally answer it (don’t worry, your email address will never be shared). Check out our Bible Answers page to see just Bible verses answering thousands of questions. If you feel impressed to support this ministry, kindly visit our donate page to send a tax-deductible love gift to BibleAsk. Any donation size helps .