Cheery Sunflowers nr. Westby, WI
Performance-based Christianity, a burden to all who practice it (and I did for years), is exposed by the light of Scripture as a useless fraud. The Bible tells us that all of our own feeble attempts at righteousness (or actually self-righteousness) are like 'filthy rags,' (as though we could prove to God that we're good and acceptable?) What a relief it is to be given that perfect righteousness of Christ, a righteousness that we could not possibly muster up, an 'alien righteousness' as Martin Luther put it. No longer striving for approval or to attain merit, our only hope - our only merit -our only rest - is in Jesus Christ alone and what He did for us on the Cross. Faith in Jesus alone is what gives us not only eternal life, but real Freedom, here and now.
'But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.' - Philippians 3:7-9
'There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.' - Romans 8:1-5
'If God is for us, who can be against us???' (extra question marks are mine) :-) Romans 8:31b
...and that truth gives followers of Christ an unsurpassed abiding inner joy, because it's not all about us after all...it's about Jesus.