Imagine if your friend suddenly came to you and gave you a very expensive smartphone for free. What would your first reaction be? For sure there is a high chance that you will ask, “Are you sure?” When someone gives us something big or something that we know we could never deserve, it seems unbelievable at first, and we try to contribute something even though we know that is not enough—just for the sake of being able to contribute. Take, for example, when you don’t have enough money, and someone treats you to a meal to bless you. You sometimes try to give the little money you have; to help the person blessing us (also for us not to be embarrassed), right?
Sometimes, people have that kind of mindset when it comes to salvation, even when it comes to the forgiveness of God toward us. We sometimes think that by our own good works we can be close to God or be righteous and save ourselves. Some even believe that faith in Christ alone is not enough and that adding good works into it is needed. It is like making sure that we are saved by doing good works and at the same time having faith in what Christ has done—sort of like having the best of both worlds. But if you read the last words of Jesus before He died on the cross, He said: “It is finished” (John 19:30). Take note that Jesus did not say something like, “It is partly finished; what lacks is a few good works” or “Just add a finishing touch if ever you sin in the future.” Jesus did not say anything like that. When Jesus says that it is finished, it is finished.
Before one becomes a Christian, one tends to do good works in order to be saved or add good works to faith in Christ, but the thing is, we can never add anything to it; it is already finished. It is like a complete package, lacking in nothing and sufficient of itself. Adding something to it is pointless and does not do anything. Wanting to add to the finished work of Christ can also happen even when one is already a Christian. This is indeed something that happens to all of us; it is our human tendency. When we have sinned and know that we have offended God, one usually responds to it in one of three ways: religion, rebellion, or repentance. Sometimes we rebel from God even more, and sometimes we tend to be religious. We increase the chapters we read in the Bible, pray more, serve more, and preach the Gospel more—doing all those good works, thinking that it does something to the reality that we’ve offended God. But the thing is, we don’t need to do these things. Don’t get me wrong, it does not mean we can abuse grace and make it a license to sin, nor does it mean we should not do good works. But our response should just be to repent from our sin and turn to God, knowing that He forgives all our sins whether past, present or future. The Bible says that keeping with repentance bears fruit (Luke 3:8). What Christ did is already finished work, and we don’t add something to what is already finished. There is no such thing as customization or an upgrade to it. Christ is enough. (Romans 6:9-10) (Hebrews 10:10)
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