Psalm 119:9

Psalm 119:9 - How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's About Jesus, Not Religion

"Miserable Christians" by Randy Willis Photos on Flickr 

Jesus saves. Not church, not theology, not "doing good stuff". Oh, people can
masquerade, they can say the creeds, they can go to church, but if they have no
relationship with Jesus Christ, they are lost. This doesn't mean that you have to
feel a warm and fuzzy closeness with Him all the time to be saved, it means that
if you have not personally repented of your sins and trusted in Him, if your life
is not guided by what He says, if you take Him out of the closet for Sunday, and
then forsake Him the rest of the week, You are lost. Beware of placing your trust
in a way of life, rather than the Giver of Life, lest this should be said to you on
the last day:

         "'Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of
          heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
          On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in
          your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty
          works in your name?" And then will I declare to them, "I never knew
          you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."'"
           - Matthew 7:21-23

What happened to these people is that they trusted in their good works, the stuff
that they did "in His name" instead of Him. A Christianity that is built on works
and empty words is no Christianity at all, but just another one of those false
religions that are all over the world. Without a real and saving faith in Jesus
Christ, all else is dead.

         "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for
          anything, but only faith working through love."
           - Galatians 5:6


         "yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but
           through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus,
           in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law,
           because by works of the law no one will be justified."
            - Galatians 2:16

In this book, Paul is addressing a bunch of Jewish-Christians who were trying
to undermine Paul's authority and teaching that salvation was obtained by the
observance of the Jewish laws, including circumcision. If you base your faith
on "doing stuff for God" not only will you not be saved, nobody can even live
up to God's standards by themselves. It just can't be done. But where Jesus is,
we are not justified by the law but by His blood, and by the fact that He rose
from the dead, thereby conquering death!

         "but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,
          the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."
           - John 20:31

...Grace and Peace!

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