True Christianity teaches that the salvation of one's soul is one hundred percent the work of God. When He becomes real to us, we can do nothing but worship Him with thanksgiving, or reject Him to our own detriment. The only "work" we can do to be saved is to believe in Jesus (John 6:29). In John 3:1-21, Jesus explained to a religious leader of Israel that his religion was unable to save him. He told him that he needed to be born again, to be born of the Spirit of God. Jesus explained that the Spirit could not be seen, but He regenerates men spiritually. Though alive physically, as the offspring of Adam, Nicodemus was dead spiritually. We are told by Scripture that one man caused spiritual death, and One Man offers us Spiritual life (Romans 5:12-21).
Yesterday, I said I would make today's post personal. By that I mean I am going to present Scripture in a way that makes it apply to each individual reader. What follows is called the "Roman Road" because it is from the Book of Romans, and it presents the path to salvation. I pray that everyone who reads this will acknowledge it as truth.
1) I have sinned and come short of bringing glory to God. Romans 3:23
2) The wages of my sin is my death. Romans 6:23a
3) God loved me while I was still a sinner. Romans 5:8
4) God's gift to me is eternal life through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Romans 6:23b
5) My only responsibility is to believe in Jesus and tell others (trust me, if one truly believes in Jesus, he will be unable to keep it to himself): When I confessed with my mouth the Lord Jesus, and I believed in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I was saved! Romans 10:9 God promised that when I called upon the name of the Lord, I would be saved. Romans 10:13 God cannot lie. (Titus 1:2)
Notice His payment (wages) for sin is death, but His gift (unearned) is eternal life. It amazes me that some people who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, somehow think that they are better than others. That they have, in some way, deserved to be saved. Some even believe that by being faithful, they will be able to keep the gift they have received. Either they deserved salvation or it was a gift. If they have to work to keep it, it was nothing more than payment in advance for their works. Salvation is a gift, period!
The religion of Nicodemus was Judaism, which was given by God specifically to show man that he is unable to live his life in a way that would please Him. It revealed our fallen nature, and taught us we needed a Savior (Galatians 3:19-24). Religion does not save anyone. When one is born again, is saved, and is alive spiritually, they are not in a religion; they are in a relationship! They are the children of God. True Christianity is living the life of a son or daughter of God. We do good stuff because we want to please Him, not to become His child. We ARE His child!