The Man on the Middle Cross

We can’t earn it.  Human effort is futile. 

Works-based salvation is a back-breaking burden resulting in a lifetime of legalistic bondage.

To believe we must “check off the boxes” of being “good enough” to help us get into heaven completely nullifies the work of Christ on the Cross.

In other words, if we can earn our way into heaven by human effort, what did Jesus die for?  The answer to that question is “nothing.”

Our good works (or, “fruit of the Spirit”) are not required for salvation, but rather evidence of our salvation.

Jesus said,

“This is the only work God wants from you:  Believe in the one he has sent…. The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing.” – John 6:29, 63

This is precisely what Paul meant when he wrote,

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” – Ephesians 2:8-9


“He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].”

In other words,

Alistair Begg, who is Scottish, is the senior pastor of Cleveland’s Parkside Church, a position he has held since 1983. In this brief clip, using the story of the thief on the cross next to Jesus, Begg delivers profound truth.  It may well be the best exposition of this passage of scripture I’ve ever heard.

Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Christus.

By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.