“And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Lk.10:41-42).
Mary had an exalted view of Christ because she knew that everything she needed was in Jesus Christ alone. Martha on the other hand, was caught up in the cares of the world and was trying to do good works in her own strength.
The same is done in every false religion in the world, which has an exalted view of man and his own works. They have long lists of all they think they can pull off in their own power with just a “little help” from Jesus. “But all their works they do for to be seen of men; they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments” (Mt.23:5), proclaiming the broad way to destruction.
Yet, Jesus proclaimed the narrow way—-Himself. He is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Him (Jn.14:6). It’s not Jesus PLUS our own works. It’s Jesus alone who makes the tree good so that it produces good fruit.
True repentance, saving faith, and the ability to obey God are found only in Jesus Christ. Only by the merits of Christ does God grant the gift of faith to trust Christ alone for salvation and to endure the cross (Phil1:29). Only by the merits of Christ does God reconcile His people back to Himself (2Cor.5:19, 21). Only by the merits of Christ does God grant repentance (2Tim.2:25). Only by the merits of Christ does God grant the ability to follow Him in obedience. “When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men” (Eph.2:8, 4:8).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph.1:3). All spiritual blessings; faith, repentance, the ability to obey God and produce good works have all been obtained for God’s people in Christ, “Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption” (1Cor.1:30, Heb.9:12). So that none of the sheep He died for will ever perish or lack the ability to believe the truth and follow Him (Jn.10). And if any are caught up in a false religion, He will rescue them, lead them out and place them in the green pastures of truth, where they can rest in Him. All their supplies of grace come from Jesus Christ and Him alone, for He says; “Without Me you can do nothing” (Jn.15:5). “Their righteousness is of Me saith the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17).
Our duty to God is made clear….. “If ye will fear the Lord, and serve Him, then shall ye continue following the Lord your God” (1Sam.12:14)…..along with the fact that only God can enable us to fulfill our duty….. “I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me” (Jer.32:40).
“Thou also hast wrought all our works in us” (Isaiah 26:12). “For it is God who works in you to will and to do” (Phil.2:13). “Who bore our sins in His own body on the tree, so that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness” (1Pet.2:24). He quickens dead spirits by His mighty power (Eph.2:1, Titus 3:5).
The death of Christ is the meritorious cause of all the spiritual blessings that the Father bestows upon His chosen elect and the Holy Spirit is the effective agent Who uses the instrument of the Word to effectively apply those merits to those Jesus died for, so that none of them will ever perish, for those ordained to eternal life are enabled to believe with the heart unto salvation (Acts 13:48, Rom.10:10).
True saving faith can be said to be “our act” if God bestows that gift upon us. Who can deny that a gift is the possession of the one it has been given to? Faith is “ours” by reason of God bestowing it upon us as a gift (Eph.2:8). If it was a natural endowment or ability we were born with, everyone would have it and it wouldn’t be referred to as a gift in God’s Word (2Thess.3:2).
“Who makes you to differ from another? And what do you have that you have not received” (1Cor.4:7)? Everything that makes a Christian differ from others is bestowed by God. “Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn.1:13). “If anyone glories let him glory in the Lord” (1Co.1:3). So pray God will grant you faith to trust Christ alone for salvation.