Skip to comments.Are You Religious...or Are You Saved?
Posted on 12/10/2013 5:23:53 AM PST by CynicalBear
I once heard a radio preacher make the statement, You can be religious to your fingertips and still go to hell.
This is absolutely true.
Religion and salvation are two vastly different things. Religion is man trying to reach God by his own efforts, through rituals and ceremonies and keeping of the laws and rules of the religion he is practicing. It may include doing good works, it may include trying to turn others to your religion and it may include other such things that may be well and good as far as this life is concerned, but it wont get you to heaven.
Salvation on the other hand is simply recognizing what God has already done for you, that He through Jesus has already done everything necessary to secure your salvation, and all you have to do is accept it by inviting Jesus into your life, into your inner man. Once you do that you are saved for all of eternity, heaven will be your future home, and nobody and nothing on this earth can take it away from you.
The Greeks worshiped many gods. In Athens they had altars and statues to every god they could think of, and even an altar to the unknown god just in case they happened to miss one. The apostle Paul saw this when he visited Athens while making his rounds as a missionary and was greatly moved by what he saw. He preached Jesus to them, which seemed to them as some strange new god they had never heard of.
Standing in the Areopagus he told them, Men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the subjects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, To an Unknown God. What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. And he preached to them about Jesus, the unknown god, as the only Way of salvation.
One thing that all religions have in common is you have to do something to work or earn your way to God (or whatever god that religion worships), or do something to merit that gods attention. Even some who profess Christianity think we have to do something to earn our way to Heaven. I believe this is mainly based on misinterpretation of the Bible, trying to mix in Old Testament teachings with human reasoning. Whatever, it isnt true.
But what does the Scripture say? In order to properly understand Scripture we have to apply some commonsense rules to the reading of it that could apply to any reading.
1. Take the writings in the Bible at face value, as literally true, unless the context indicates otherwise.
2. Dont take Scripture out of context. Read what comes before and after the passage you're looking at to get a clear picture of what it is actually saying. Dont do proof texts, which are usually isolated verses taken out of context. Much false doctrine comes from taking Scripture out of context and mixing it with human reasoning. You can prove just about anything you want to by taking Scripture out of context but that doesn't make it so and it really doesnt prove anything.
3. Do cross-references. Look at other passages on the same subject or event, compare them and see what they say together. Compare Scripture with Scripture. This will give you a much clearer picture of what you are looking for.
4. Ask some questions about the passage you are reading: Who? What? When? Where? Why? Who is speaking? Who is he speaking to? What is he saying? What event or thing is he talking about? What is he doing, and why is he doing it? Where is this event, taking place? And why? What is the occasion? When is this happening, or being said? Finding the answers to these questions will help shed more light on what you are reading.
Weve already seen that all religions are based on some sort of works, earning your way to heaven. What do Isaiah and others in the Bible say about that?
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Romans 3:19-20, Paul: Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be shut, and that all the world may become accountable to God, because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in the sight of God; for by the law comes the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:10-12, Paul: For as many are of the works of the law are under a curse, for as it is written, Cursed is every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.' Now that no one is justified before God is evident, for the righteous man shall live by faith. However, the law is not of faith; on the contrary, 'He who practices them shall live by them.
In other words all the law does is tell us we are sinners, but it doesnt do anything to fix the situation.
The fact of the matter is that we are all sinners, and as such have no capacity to save ourselves. Keeping the laws given through Moses will not save us. All the law does is show us that we are sinners. And as sinners we are all under the condemnation of God, because God cannot allow sin in heaven and there is only one other place to go to when we diehell. Sin is a bit like an ounce of poison in a pot of stew. No amount of stirring or adding other ingredients will neutralize the poison. The poison has to be removed but you have nothing to remove it with.
Enter Jesus. There is only one way to remove the poison of sin from our lives, and that is for an innocent substitute to take the punishment for that sin upon Himself. In the Old Testament it was a lamb or a goat or other animal without spot or blemish, a type or shadow looking forward to Jesus execution on the cross. In our case, that innocent Substitute is none other than God Himself, in the person of Jesus the Christ, the anointed Son of God.
When Jesus was crucified God the Father laid every sin of every person on earth, past, present and future, on Jesus. When He died He took all our sins to the grave with Him, never to be held against us again. When He arose from the dead it was proof positive that God had accepted that payment for the sins that He had been charged withour sins. He had no sin of His own. For thirty-three years He lived on this earth, being born as a little baby just like the rest of us once were, growing to manhood, being tempted and tried in every manner that we all are, and yet totally without sin. Only then was He qualified to be the Substitute for our sins. And we are saved by His righteousness not our own. If we could save ourselves by our own self -righteousness, then Jesus died for no purpose.
Now what do we have to do to receive this righteousness?
John 1: 9-11: He [Jesus] was in the world, the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not. He came to His own and and His own received Him not. But to as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become the sons of God, even to those who believe on His name.
John 3:16-18: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved. Whoever believes on Him is not condemned, but he who believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 14:6: Jesus said to him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.
Romans 10:9-10: That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.
2 Corinthians 5:21: He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace are you saved through faith, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.
So you see, it all works by faith. Everything necessary for your salvation has already been done, all you have to do is receive it by receiving Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. How do you get him to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior? Just ask Him to, and believe He will. Its that simple. No rocket science needed, just sincere faith that He will do what you ask Him to do.
Religion: Do and do and doall your life and get nowhere, and maybe end-up in hell.
Salvation: Its already done, all taken care of by Jesus. Just receive Him by faith, like a child would ask his daddy to give him something he wants, believing hell get it for him. Its that simple.
Believe me, it works!
And Jimmy was right. He was just a hypocrite.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith" That entire process mentioned -- "being saved by grace through faith" -- is a gift from God. We didn't come up with it. God came up with it. Essentially it is saying that "the plan of salvation" is a gift from God. That plan is: "saved by grace through faith."
So, these verse don't really address to whom the plan is offered. The chapter in question is specifically referencing those already Christians to whom Paul is writing. On down in the chapter it applies this plan to those Gentiles or Jews who participate in it.
So, from THIS chapter we know only that it applies to those who participate in it. I don't know anyone who disagrees with that except (off the top of my head) universalists.
From elsewhere in scripture, Romans 8:29 - "Romans 8:29 NIV
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Peter says in 1Pe1 we are the elect 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood
Who are these elect whom God has foreknown and predestined? Paul spells it out, in my opinion, in Romans 8:
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
It is those who were saved through this hope of redemption in Christ who are the "foreknown" in verse 29 of Romans 8.
And nothing will separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Your definitions are lacking.
** Dont take Scripture out of context. Read what comes before and after the passage you’re looking at to get a clear picture of what it is actually saying. Dont do proof texts, which are usually isolated verses taken out of context. Much false doctrine comes from taking Scripture out of context and mixing it with human reasoning. You can prove just about anything you want to by taking Scripture out of context but that doesn’t make it so and it really doesnt prove anything.**
So true, and I wish people would not do it here on FR.
The moral virtue by which a person is disposed to render to God the worship and service he desrves. It is sometimes identified with the virtue of justice toward God, whose rights are rooted in his complete dominion over all creation. Religion is also a composite of all the virtues that arise from a human being's relationship to God as the author of his or her being, even as love is a cluster of all the virtues arising from human response to God as the destiny of his or her being. Religion thus corresponds to the practice of piety toward God as Creator of the universe. (Etym. probably Latin religare, to tie , fasten, bind, or relegere, to gather up, treat with care.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
In biblical language the deliverance from straitened circumstances or oppression by some evil to a state of freedom and security. As sin is the greatest evil, salvation is mainly liberation from sin and its consequences. This can be deliverance by way of preservation, or by offering the means for being delivered, or by removing the oppressive evil or diffculty, or by rewarding the effort spent in co-operating with grace in order to be delivered. All four aspects of salvation are found in the Scriptures and are taught by the Church. (Etym. Latin salvare, to save.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
Visiting widows and orphans? Sounds like “works” to me. Unnecessary, right?
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.
They also will answer, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?
He will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.
Thank you for your well thought out theological response. You wouldnt care to expound on why you think its a lie would you?
religion is of the spirit world not of man
Are you saying that man has to add something to what Christ did to obtain salvation?
It doesn’t save, but is a reflection of someone who is saved.
So do you stress outward actions or an inward desire for Christ in your sermons?
C-bear, you posted: Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace are you saved through faith, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.
You nailed it. Faith is not so much a choice; it is a gift of God. We should remember this so that we don’t brag about our own faith, and so that we don’t act unkindly to those who do not (yet) believe.
And while we can’t make anyone believe, we CAN be one of the means by which God gives the gift of faith to one who presently doesn’t believe.
Works may help deepen our faith, but it also is EVIDENCE of our faith, shown to others.
Another thought crossed my mind— If you believe in God, and in Christ as Savior, and you don’t do what God says to do, what does that mean? Is it not pure rebellion against God? Or is it a demonstration of a lack of faith, or too shallow a faith?
There abides these three.... faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is Love.
I dont guess I know this Charlie Hustle guy you reference. Surely you didnt make that comment thinking this Pete Rose was the same Pete Rose of baseball infamy did you?
You are so correct. I simply copied that verse from the text of the article but you are correct. That really needs to be included as far too many people would like to take credit rather than understand it is the faith of Christ. Thank you for pointing that out.
It was in fact a number 14 reference, as you pointed out. And kudos to you for saying ‘infamy’ in regard to the baseball one.
Rather its the more we submit ourselves to Him the more He can work through us.
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:28-29
From that point on its Him working through us. Its not we who do the works.
I would disagree. The verse in James says nothing about salvation. It simply says that God accepts that kind of religion. Thinking that doing those somehow obtains or deserves salvation is contrary to what scripture teaches.
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