In my book, What God Knew, Tammy asks Michael the difference between God and religion. Michael answers by saying that God is the Almighty Creator, Maker of the universe and mankind. Religion is man’s feeble efforts at reaching God, trying to be good enough. But there’s nothing man can do to reach God. Only the Lord can accomplish that.
But I’ve got good news for Tammy. Man doesn’t have to strive to do anything to earn salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Here are some examples that contrast the two concepts. Religion says we should please God by our own good deeds, but salvation by faith tell us to first trust in Christ and then live to please Him. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10. The works part comes after salvation, and we do these things only because we love the Lord and want to serve Him, not to earn rewards.
Religion tells us we must be self-motivated—to exercise self-control. Faith proclaims Christ is in us providing the ability to serve. Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
Religion says we need discipline and obedience in hope of receiving a reward from God. Faith says we confess, submit and commit ourselves to Christ’s control. Philippians 4:13. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Faith is all about the Lord and nothing to do with us. He’s the One who provides the grace for us to receive salvation then live for Him.
Salvation by faith sounds too easy. People would rather think they have to “do” something to get right with God. But God’s simple way to salvation is the only avenue we have to be saved and please Him. JD Neilson learned this truth in For All Eternity.
For All Eternity: http://tinyurl.com/p5qswo5
Echoes From the Past: http://tinyurl.com/on75b92