Grace and Mercy: Two gifts that set Christianity apart from any other religion

Grace Plus Nothing

By Jeff Harkin
Chapter 1: Our righteousness can't do it.

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» Introduction
» Our righteousness can't do it
» Imprisoned for mercy
» What is grace?
» Working Definitions for
   Justification and Sanctification

» Sanctification Does Not Cause

About This Section

The articles posted in this section are sample chapters from the book, Grace Plus NothingOff-site Link by Jeff Harkin.

Also available in Kindle Edition © Copyright 2004 Applied Grace Publications. Used by permission.

Our righteousness can't do it

Every Christian must face this truth: Our righteousness can't do it.

Every Christian must face this truth: Our righteousness can't do it.

The body of Christ in the United States has had access to more teaching and preaching than any other church in history. Technology has made an over-abundance of Christian tapes, books and TV available to us. All of these are the blessing of God.

But for many of us our knowledge has outstripped our ability. If we are honest, most of us must admit that we're not applying what we've learned. We're not living up tp God's expectations. We're striving too much. And our righteousness is falling short of the mark.

This book on grace applies to every Christian, but many of you are in an especially good place to receive it. Perhaps you have gradually realized that the majority of your attempts at righteousness are falling short of the mark, and perhaps you are feeling quite confused and condemned about it. Perhaps you came to this realization many years ago, and your zeal for the Lord gradually cooled; now you are a more or less nominal Christian because you have lost hope that you can have a victorious Christian life. Perhaps you have given up completely. You may think Gad gave up on you.

But something good is going to happen to you even if you don't expect it. You have finally come to a place where the Lord can intervene powerfully in your life.

While the Lord had not caused you to fail, he has you to fail in order to reveal that your righteousness can never satisfy his requirements for righteousness. He usually shows this truth through a process familiar to every generation of God's people. He allows you to struggle for years and year trying to be spiritual, trying to be holy, reading everybody's exhortations and formulas, zealously applying new keys to true spirituality, or learning new principles about the deeper life of healing or prosperity. Then, after all those years of striving, you discover that many of the standard formulas don't seem to work and. worse yet, your righteousness still has blemishes all over it.

Or, on the other hand, perhaps you are the sort of person who usually succeeds at your won righteousness. Then the Lord reveals your spiritual inadequacy in another fashion-for example, through a deep hunger for more holiness and power in your soul. You may recognize that, despite all your success, the true spirituality and abiding peace and lasting satisfaction you expected haven't been realized. Where are they? You thought Christians were supposed to have them!

You have them sometimes, maybe in worship or praise, but they are all too fleeting. You have tried to obey the biblical injunction to be holy as your heavenly Father is holy, and you have usually tries to respond zealously to preaching that exhorted you to aim at perfection. But you are becoming discouraged and exhausted!

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