Aren’t all religions basically the same?
As I explained yesterday, it’s a good question. After all, a lot of religions speak about some kind of higher power and have a version of the golden rule.
But there are significant differences. Yesterday I talked about the difference Jesus makes. And today I’d like to talk about something else:
It means generosity you don’t deserve. Say you shout at someone for no reason, but then they turn around and do something kind for you anyway. That’s grace.
When it comes to how you are saved (or made eternally right with God, both in this life and the next), many religions say that it’s all about how good you are. It’s about your moral performance—living a kind life. “Look at how nice I’ve been, God is definitely going to let me into heaven.”
But Christianity is different.
We’re all sinful people. (Sorry to break it to you, but it’s the truth.) We don’t love God, other people, or ourselves as we should. And because of that, none of us can ever be morally good enough to perfectly please a perfect God.
So that’s where grace comes in. When you confess your sin to God, and put your faith in Jesus as the Lord of your life, he GIVES you forgiveness. He GIVES you salvation. He GIVES you eternity. He GIVES you heaven.
That’s why the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are so important. When you put your trust in him, he does for you what you can’t do for yourself. He takes (and pays for) your sin, and in return GIVES you…
Ephesians 2: 8-9 (NIV) lays it out: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…”
As it is sometimes said, “God’s riches at Christ’s expense.”
How amazing is that? It doesn’t matter where you live, how much money you have, what colour your skin is, or whether you’re male or female. It also doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in jail, littered, struggle with addiction, or have a pile of unmentionable secrets.
God’s grace in Jesus is equally accessible to all.
If you want or need to know more, send me a message.
Either way, be confident—not in what you’ve done, but in what Jesus has done for you.
With Jesus you have everything. Without him, you don’t.
By Matthew Ruttan
- To hear more, check out my 25-minute podcast called “Aren’t all religions basically the same?” here. Enjoy!
- Vacation alert: Please note that “Up!” will be taking a break as I go on vacation. It will run this week, but then go on pause until September 5th.