Scripture Reading: John 10:1-9

...He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. John 10:1

Some years ago there appeared in a religious periodical the story of a man who was quite content to trust in his own merits for salvation. He dreamed one night that he was occupied with the task of constructing a ladder which would reach from earth to heaven. Whenever he did a good deed the ladder was extended upward, and occasionally when an extra good act was performed progress was correspondingly accelerated. He dreamed that in the course of years the ladder finally passed out of sight of the earth up almost to the gates of heaven itself. Alas, however, when the builder was about to step off the topmost rung onto the floor of heaven, a voice cried, "He that climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber!" Down came the ladder with a terrific crash! The startled dreamer awoke. He was set to thinking and finally realized that if he was to obtain salvation it would have to be apart from his own "righteousness."

Even our best works are imperfect, but were they jewels of grace, still human merit would be insufficient to atone for past mistakes. The ladder of self-righteousness is no way to enter the fold of the Good Shepherd. God has provided a Door, and it is only as we enter through Him and His atoning merits that we can expect to find eternal shelter. Jesus said, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (John 6:29). Christ's righteousness is imputed "without (human) works" (Romans 4:4-6). God will not be robbed of His glory by allowing you to "climb up some other way." To those who would seek to be saved by human effort and "work-righteousness," the grace of God shouts out a warning. Its language is simple and unmistakable: "STOP, THIEF!" (H.G.B.)

Not the labors of my hands

Can fulfill Thy law's demands;

Could my zeal no respite know,

Could my tears forever flow,

All for sin could not atone;

Thou must save, and Thou alone.

— A. Toplady

"Why try to buy or 'steal' salvation when you can have it as a gift?" (Romans 6:23)

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