No Merit of My Own
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” (2 Timothy 1:9)
Scripture often emphasizes that our salvation comes not by our own actions but through the outworking of God’s grand plan. A favorite memory verse for Christians is: “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” (Ephesians 2:8-9). This concept dominates the second verse of the hymn “My Hope Is in the Lord.”
No merit of my own
His anger to suppress.
My only hope is found
In Jesus’ righteousness.
All men are guilty before a righteous God and all come under His condemnation. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But through it all, we have a certain hope: Christ died and rose again for our justification, which means being “declared righteous” in the Judge’s eyes. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past” (Romans 3:24-25).
We are justified by His grace and will be clothed in His spotless, righteous garments as we stand before our Lord, who promises to reward us as He would reward His own dear Son. “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7). Our hope is in the Lord. JDM