“All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” – Isa. 64:6
All our good works, ALL of them, are contaminated. They do not and can not save us.
Only Jesus saves.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t do good works: Good works don’t save people, but saved people do good works.
Martin Luther said God doesn’t need our good works, but our neighbor does.
“When I look at myself, I don’t see how I can be saved. When I look at Christ, I don’t see how I can be lost.” – Martin Luther
Looking for the source of this quote and came up with: “If I examine myself I find enough unholiness to shock me. But when I look at Christ in me I find that I am altogether holy.” (On Gal. 3:13)
And “If I keep on looking at myself, I am gone.” (On Gal. 2:20)
(Commentary on Galatians, 1535).
“Mark ye well her bulwarks” – Psa. 48:13
A bulwark is a wall that provides protection or support.
In Martin Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” the first line is “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.”
God defends the weak.
He provides refuge for His children.
We trust in His promises rather than our own strength.
In God, we have “a bulwark never failing.”