For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 18:14, NIV).
Jesus told a story in Luke 18 to illustrate how salvation works. There were two men praying in church. One was a religious teacher, who spent his entire life making sure that he followed every rule of his religion. He even did more than was required, to make sure that he was better than other people. He said to God in a loud voice: “I’m really glad I’m not like other people,” as he glanced around and spotting a tax collector praying in a dark corner of the church. “I fast twice a week and I give more generously than necessary to the church.”
The tax collector, on the other hand, was too timid even to lift his eyes towards heaven. All he could say to God was this: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”
Jesus left no one in any doubt about the outcome. God, he said, heard the sincere prayer of the tax collector, and gave him salvation, but turned away from the pride and arrogance of the religious leader (Luke 18:14).
So it is with us. We cannot do anything that will help to save us. The Bible tells us about the only thing we can do. In the book of Acts, Peter was asked by the multitude, "…what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). Peter responded, "…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (Acts 2:38-39).
– Des Ford
Eli’s Reflection: If God were to look at us as we enter church, would he see us more as the religious teacher or as the tax collector?
Courtesy of Good News Unlimited