Faith in Christ is not a religion

I have heard from certain quarters, that my faith in Christ is considered as going back to religion in a negative way. They say that God’s love is unconditional and that we must not add the condition of “faith” to receive His love. They say that all people are saved and born righteous even if they don’t believe in Jesus.

But I believe such statements are made because of a lack of understanding of what is faith, grace, and works.

Faith is not “works”

Romans 4 “Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation”

Faith is not a “work” for someone to do. Works are when someone tries to attain salvation by religious rituals, good deeds, karma, etc.

But what is faith?

Romans 4 “5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”

Faith means that a person does not work for salvation but trusts in God who makes the sinner as righteous!

It was just like Abraham who was unable to have children by his own strength but believed in God who made him righteous.

How do we receive this righteousness? Not by works but by faith!

Romans 4 “
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

We also receive righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ.
Why? Jesus died for our sins and He was raised for our justification!

We did nothing at all but the work was done only by Jesus Christ.

2nd Corinthians 5 “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

God has reconciled the world by taking the 1st step.
God judged all our sins on Jesus on the cross so that He gifted His righteousness to us freely which we receive only when we are reconciled to God by faith! We are not automatically righteous but have to accept the free gift from God.

Salvation is a free gift that must be received by faith!
A free gift cannot be earned by good deeds, religious rituals or karma, etc….
It can only be received by faith in Christ – this means that we don’t do the works, but believe that Jesus DID IT for us !!

When we have faith, it will produce works in us AFTER we are saved!

Ephesians 2 “8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

True faith will always produce love:

Galatians 5 “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

James 2 “8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right…… faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

 

Faith in Christ is not “religion”.

Salvation is by GRACE because Jesus did ALL the work and we did nothing!
He is the Son of God who came as a man.
Jesus is the only man who never sinned and yet He died for our sins and was raised from the dead.
Only His blood could take away our sins.
Only His resurrection could make us righteous.

Could we do any of those things that Jesus did?
We could never live a life without sin.
We could never die on a cross and forgive those who crucified us, washing the feet of those who wanted to kill us.
We could never raise ourselves from the dead.

So then we have two choices:

– Unbelief means that a person rejects Christ and tries to attain salvation by trusting in their own works/merits, trying to be perfect like God – which will always fail. God has no choice but to judge this person because he refused the grace of Christ.

– Faith means that we know that we cannot do anything to save ourselves, and we gladly accept the GRACE of God by believing in Jesus. We trust in Jesus and not our own works and therefore we are not judged but saved by grace.

– Unbelief rejects GRACE.
– Faith accepts GRACE.

– Unbelief glorifies man and the flesh.
– Faith glorifies the love of God through the grace of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

God’s unconditional love through the Cross of Jesus:

Is faith a condition to receive God’s love? No.

Before Christ came, nobody could go to heaven.

Romans 3 “20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin…..There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

The only way to enter heaven is to be perfect and righteous.
And no man on earth can do it by his own works.
The law is conditional love: where only those who could obey the law perfectly would be saved. And no man could keep the law and therefore all men were condemned – both the Jew under the written law and the Gentile under the law of conscience.

So then what did God do? He displayed His unconditional love by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross and forgive all our sins, while we were powerless sinners! We could do nothing to save ourselves and that is why God in His great love came down from heaven through Jesus to die for us and save us!

Romans 5 “6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

The way to receive this grace and unconditional love is by simple faith:

Romans 3 “22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus…..who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

Those who reject God’s love in Christ are the ones who are trying to attain salvation by the “conditions” of their own merits and works!

But the one who accepts Christ is the one who receives the unconditional love of God.

If a person tries to be righteous by his own works, then he can boast in himself.

Romans 10 “Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

But the one who has faith boasts in Jesus Christ because God made us righteous by what Jesus did and not our works!

Romans 4 “2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.
23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

1 Corinthians 1 “26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Faith is not a “condition” or “religion” or “work”.

Faith is the channel through which we receive God’s unconditional love and grace through the Cross of Jesus Christ!

Faith is our conviction that we cannot save ourselves but that only Jesus Christ can save us by His unconditional grace and love!

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