By the label “Do-it-yourself Christianity, I mean the kind of self-approving claim where a person will say, “I’m a good person, which makes me a Christian.” That view is usually accompanied by a pronounced indifference to the God of Scripture, as if His relevance was neither necessary nor desired. Closely allied with that notion is Scriptural illiteracy amounting to a manifest misunderstanding of what the Bible is all about.

 

There’s just no such thing as a do-it-yourself Christian. The person who attempts to make that claim is delusional. I noted the basic problem with that distressingly common view in Chapter 3 of my book Marching to a Worthy Drummer:

 

“According to God’s standards of righteousness, all our ‘good’ works, as Paul often echoed the prophet Isaiah, are like filthy rags (Is 64:6). Compared to His selfless nobility, we’re all mired in the slime of self-interest, which is exactly why we can’t storm the gates of heaven on our own merit. For our reconciliation with a holy God, we desperately need God’s substitutionary atonement on the cross for our evil natures, as enacted by Jesus Christ: it is to the cross that we must look for that, not to ourselves.

 

“This is the core problem with countless unfortunate, lost, people: not troubling themselves to read the Bible, they have bought into the devil’s own lie about the meaning of Christianity. Considering themselves to be basically ‘good’, they claim to be Christian. It is hard to picture any attitude that can be more fundamentally in opposition to Christianity. In the first place, with that attitude they don’t need Jesus at all. Completely disregarding Jesus’ own words that nobody comes to the Father except through Him, they arrogantly think that they just need their own good works, making a mockery of the cross. In the second place, they are so comfortable with the prevailing attitude toward self and self-gratification that they fail to appreciate just how baared off we all are. None of us is good. Persons having the mindset that they are ‘good’ think that they can even perform ‘good’ acts with nothing but ‘good’ consequences, when history is full of the collateral damage caused by ‘good’ acts that have met with unintended but disastrous consequences.

 

“In sharp contrast, the real Christian is humble enough to admit to his own shortcomings, thereby enabling him to gladly accept Jesus’ very difficult work on his behalf on the cross. “

 

How fortunate we are that God did for us what we are unable to accomplish by ourselves! How much greater is our fortune that Jesus as God humbled Himself and suffered the shame and the agony of the cross to accomplish that purpose!

 

As Jesus Himself said in John 15:13:

 

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

 

As for our own part in the epic of our salvation, Paul spoke of its essence in Ephesians 2:8 and 9:

 

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of works, lest any man should boast.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Art Perkins