I ended yesterday's post by saying that True Christianity does not meet the definition of being a religion. All religions have a list of conditions to be met to please their god and to insure one of an afterlife. True Christianity has no such list. I say "True" because there are a lot of denominations that could and should be considered religions. True Christianity teaches that the salvation of an individual is the work of God, and not that of the individual. I have written on this before, but it warrants repeating; it should be shouted for all the world to hear, and especially those in denominations which add to, or take away from the Gospel. The Apostle Paul had the ultimate in harsh words for them (Galatians 1:6-9).
I have found as a former Pastor, and as a Christian of thirty-nine years, that a large majority of Born Again Christians fail to understand how they actually were saved. Most remember the time and place, some remember the Pastor and the message, but nearly all have forgotten how. If they really are a child of God, then the "how" is what needs to be the center of their testimony. Testimonies are as varied as snowflakes, but just as all the different snowflakes are made of water, all testimonies have one thing in common: God did it!
In 1 Corinthians 3:5-7, Paul emphasizes that it is God Who grows the Church. Salvation is a gift. It comes in the Person of Jesus Christ, Whom God gave for you and me (John 3:16). It is all the work of God! God draws us to Christ (John 6:44). God convicts us of our need to be saved (John 16:7-11). God gives us faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). God gives us the new birth (John 3:3-8). God changes us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). God disciplines us (Hebrews 12:3-11). And God completes us (1 Corinthians 1:8; 15:49; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 1:6; 2:13; 1 John 3:2). Man does nothing but believe what God has done (John 6:29). If we needed to do anything to guarantee our salvation, then we could boast, but the work is done by God, and all the glory belongs to Him (Ephesians 2:9-10)!
One might ask, "Then what part does man have in winning souls for Christ?" We tell them what He has done for us, and for them. We bear witness and share the Word. It is the Word that the Spirit uses to produce faith, "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). Our responsibility is to make sure we live our lives in such a way that unbelievers will be willing to listen to us.
Religion is man's effort to find favor in one's god, to avoid calamity, to receive prosperity, and to live beyond this life. True Christianity is living in the favor of God which is found in Christ. Tomorrow, I will make it personal, Lord willing. Until then, God bless those who believe; may our numbers increase to God's glory.