BIBLICAL CENTER FOR BIBLE STUDIES

God's love... "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (Joh 3:16)

R E L IG I O N  B R I N G S   N O  S A L V A T I O N

Rev 19:1  And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 

Rev 19:2  For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 

Rev 19:3  And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 


This is how the Encyclopedia of Philosophy lists some traits of religions:

·  

Belief in something sacred (for example, gods or other supernatural beings)

·         A distinction between sacred and profane objects


·         Ritual acts focused on sacred objects

·         A moral code believed to have a sacred or supernatural basis

·      Characteristically religious feelings (awe, sense of mystery, sense of guilt, adoration), which tend to be aroused in the presence of sacred objects and during the practice of ritual


·         Prayer and other forms of communication with the supernatural

·   A world view, or a general picture of the world as a whole and the place of the individual therein. This picture contains some specification of an over-all purpose or point of the world and an indication of how the individual fits into it

·         A more or less total organization of one’s life based on the world view

·         A social group bound together by the above

Generally, people learn the etymology of religion from the Latin word religare, which means “to tie, to bind.” This is true because each religion with their members and doctrines they are the unique force that holds the truth. This is why salvation does not come from religion, because truth cannot be divided. God is the truth who redeems people from religion. 

Religion is a collection of culture systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and moral values...



According to the above definition, someone who has an intimate relationship with God seems to be part of  religion. In reality, there are two major differences between the traditional religion and the relationship between God and a true believer:

- In religion, people are doing their best to follow some so-called rules to access heaven.

- When someone walks with God, as a new born person, the Holy Spirit keeps him holy in the presence of God.

- In religion, the whole group may be convinced of their salvation by following their beliefs.

- A true believer, in his personal relationship with God, has spiritual rest, while someone in religion worries all the times about his salvation.


Do you believe in a religious group? Here is what God says: 

Isa 9:14  Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. Isa 9:15  The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. Isa 9:16  For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. Isa 9:17  Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. Isa 9:18  For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. Isa 9:19  Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother. Isa 9:20  And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: Isa 9:21  Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. 


Your religion or your church cannot help you to inherit the kingdom of God. Instead God came to free you from your sins and your gods. That's the condition of all of us before we become a child of God:


Act 26:2  I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: 
Act 26:3  Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. Act 26:1  Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: Act 26:4  My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Act 26:5  Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. Act 26:6  And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: Act 26:7  Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. 


Gal 1:11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. Gal 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Gal 1:13  For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: Gal 1:14  And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. Gal 1:15  But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, Gal 1:16  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 

Jas 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Jas 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. 


Did you read Paul's statement in Galatians 1, verse 15? It pleased God to choose him from his mother's womb. You see, the zeal of Paul for the Jews' religion couldn't transform his life, until God came and freed him from the tradition of men. 
Did you read Paul's statement in Galatians 1, verse 15? It pleased God to choose him from his mother's womb. You see, the zeal of Paul for the Jews' religion couldn't transform his life, until God came and freed him from the tradition of men. 
I know a lot of people do not like the gospel of predestination, because they do not want to be left out. Well, what can we really do? It is God's will to perform this way His salvation plan. We can only wait on God for mercy. We do not know if we are not a type of Paul or a type of Judas in the religious activity. You see, even though Judas was so close to Jesus, he was not practicing the true religion. That means his sins has not been covered by the Lord Jesus Christ:


Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? Joh 6:71  He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

It is clear now that even if we belong to a group, a church, or any religious activity, it is not a guaranty we are a child of God. Even some Jesus' biological brothers didn't believe in Him:


Joh 7:1  After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Joh 7:2  Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. Joh 7:3  His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. Joh 7:4  For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. Joh 7:5  For neither did his brethren believe in him. 


How close we think we are to Jesus? Are we closer to Him than Judas, some of his brothers, and the pharisees were? They saw Him and lived with Him, still they didn't become children of God. The fundamental reason for that phenomenon is the nature of salvation; it is not something that originate from this earth, it is from God above. Today, though we can not  see him physically, we can only become close to Him when we are born of His Spirit. 

Sola gratia is important because it is one of the distinguishing characteristics or key points that separate the true biblical Gospel from false gospels that cannot save