Does dying for others in love for them merit eternal life?

Do we as humans tend to think that others ought to get what they deserve, i.e justice, karma, punishment and praise? Do we think that we should always be given things according to what we deserve? Why does this theme of ‘reward for works’ seem to crop up so often throughout our thinking? It appears in many religions, in our families, in our societies and various worldviews. Is there some underlying perception of justice that is common to all humanity? I know in my own life the idea of fairness and what is right tends to influence how I emotionally react to my circumstances. Is this the same for you?

Contrary to this idea is this area of mercy, grace, and compassion which is so richly imbued into the Christian worldview[1, 2, 3]. However, Christianity is also deeply imbued with these ideas of justice, what is owed, what we deserve and appropriately issued punishment[4, 5, 6], themes which have permeated most of the societies and governments in existence. But how is it possible to reconcile these two so fundamental and intensely emotional features of humanity?

A nice place we could start is this short video dealing with where these two features collide in Christianity. Have a watch and then share your thoughts on such matters in the comments. Do you think that the answer given in the video was adequate? Maybe you feel we should be able to earn a place in heaven through good works? What would be good enough? Let us know!

[1] – 
[2] – 
[3] –
[4] – 
[5] – 
[6] –

1 reply
  1. DarrenG
    DarrenG says:

    In my opinion Calvin’s doctrine of total depravity doesn’t sit well with verses like Psalm 149:4 “For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.” Often in his classes Dr Craig refers the situation of those prior to the time of Christ who he believes will be judged on their response to the revelation they had. For them perhaps salvation by works is possible, if we count acknowledging their creator as one of those works. I’m thinking of Abraham, Job, Elijah and people like that.

    But rejecting your creator and refusing to accept the grace offered in Christ’s atonement would I think outweigh any other action that we could put on the other side of the scale.

Comments are closed.