I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:21
For good to happen to us, we must have a correct understanding of our right standing with God. So many have been taught to associate righteousness with a list of things that they have to do, and if they fulfill this list, they feel righteous. And when they fail in their behavior, they feel unrighteous. But, this is not a correct understanding of righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that we are righteous because of what Jesus did in taking our sins upon Himself.
We are not righteous because we do right. We became righteous because of what Jesus did for us at the cross. Righteousness therefore is not based on OUR right doing. Christianity is not about DOING RIGHT to become righteous. It’s all about BELIEVING RIGHT in Jesus to become righteous. So, obviously we’ve been conditioned to associating being blessed with doing right. Most belief systems are based on a system of merit whereby you need to fulfill certain requirements like giving to the poor, do good to others and care for the widows and fatherless to attain a certain state of righteousness.
Now that sounds very noble, self sacrificial, and appealing to our flesh, which likes to feel that our good works have earned us our righteousness. But God is not looking for your nobility, sacrifices, or good works to justify you. He is only interested in Jesus’ humility at the cross. He looks at His Son’s perfect sacrifice at Calvary to justify you and make you righteous. Attempting to be justified by your good works and trying your best to keep the Ten Commandments to become righteous is to negate the cross of Jesus.
It's saying, “The cross is not enough to justify me. I need to depend on my good works to make myself clean and righteous before God.” Paul said, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Friends consider carefully what Paul is saying here. He is effectively saying that if you are depending on YOUR good works, YOUR doing, and YOUR ability to keep perfectly the Ten Commandments to become righteous, then Jesus died for nothing. That’s what “in vain” means, FOR NOTHING.
Let’s not frustrate the grace of God by depending on your good works to make yourself righteous and put God on your side. Jesus’ sacrifice is more than enough to justify you. And when you know that you are justified, you can be confident that the unmerited favor of God is on your side and expect good to happen to you today. Glory be to God for such good news.