When someone says ‘good enough,’ he’s referring to a minimum standard he hopes he has met. Many around us often express that they hope the good they have done will be ‘good enough’ to get them into heaven–as if God is weighing deeds with some great cosmic scale.
In addition to believing that God has a minimum standard for entrance into heaven, another problem with this view is that it eliminates Jesus and His work on the cross and in the tomb entirely from the solution for sin.
I. Acts 10:1-48. If there was such a cosmic scale, Cornelius had tipped it heavily towards the good. He had good deeds as well as having a good character … but God said that all that was not ‘good enough’ and sent Peter to preach the gospel to him. It was after Cornelius obeyed the gospel that he had salvation.
II. Hebrews 5:7-9. Once God had taken on flesh in the person of Jesus and went about doing good works as Peter described Him to Cornelius (Acts 10:38), wasn’t that ‘good enough’ to get Him into heaven? After all, Jesus was sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21). No, He needed to learn obedience from what He suffered and with loud tears cry out to God who was able to save Him.
III. Ephesians 2:8-9. Having been saved through Jesus’ obedience, we must not think that we can ever be ‘good enough’ to somehow work our way to heaven. Rather, we, who are in Christ, do good works out of obedience to the One who saved us through His obedience. We walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:1-6).
We must examine why we do good things. Are we doing them to earn our way to heaven (working) or are we doing them as acts of obedience (walking)? ‘Good enough’ is never ‘good enough’ with God. He holds us to the maximum standard that His Son has met, so that in Him we can meet it too. This is why the gospel truly is good news!