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Checklists are often excellent devices by which complex tasks can be organized and executed without error.
But when applied to righteousness, checklists always fail to satisfy God's holiness, even though moral checklists delight men.
Indeed, all false religion involves the composing and keeping of checklists, whereby the keeper is assured to please God, or to obtain some sort of spiritual exaltation.
We love to substitute lists made by men in place of God's law, so that we may soothe our consciences and believe we are obeying Him. In reality, the checklists crafted by men always compromise God's perfect law, trimming it, substituting easier requirements, or even adding to it.
But the moral, heart, and motive of obedience to the law cannot be reduced to a checklist. Right attitudes cannot be ensured by following a checklist.
Even after one keeps the strictest of lists, one finds that one has not even begun to keep the heart of God's law: to love Him completely and to love our neighbors as ourselves!
Checklist morality merely enforces outward holiness at the expense of the heart of God's requirements to love Him and show mercy.
Only the Righteousness of Christ imputed to us through faith can satisfy God's law. Jesus' bloodshedding at Calvary purges the soul from guilt of the broken law.
Neither are believers sanctified by law-keeping or following legal checklists. We falsely believe that by keeping the law we will be sanctified.
But God's Word teaches the opposite: by being sanctified, we will come to obey God in every way.
Because Christ has died in our place, the law has been exhausted of its sanction against us. We are free in Jesus to obey!
John Pittman Hey was born in 1961 in Jackson, Mississippi, to Godly parents who from the beginning raised him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With child-like faith he came to Christ on his fourth birthday at his mother's knee. He received his education at church school,...