If our good deeds, good works, and religious service could save us; if joining a church, if being baptized in water, if getting a Christian education could save us, then what Jesus went through at the cross was needless and pointless. That means He went through the suffering, the agony, the pain and the shame for nothing. It means He subjected Himself to life on earth and crucifixion at the hands of evil men needlessly. It means it was all in vain.
But it wasn't in vain. It wasn't pointless. It was necessary. Although we like to think that our goodness is good enough to get us to heaven; although we believe that going to church and doing religious disciplines makes us saved we are not only sadly mistaken, but we are wrong and deceived. We have believed a lie. We have made the goodness of God of none affect. We are frustrating the grace of God. For if indeed we could save ourselves by our own merits Jesus would not have come to earth and died on the cross. The fact that He did speaks loudly and clearly.... we can't save ourselves!
Just because you live in a so called "Christian nation", just because you grew up in the "Bible Belt", just because your grandfather was a preacher, just because you joined a particular church, just because you go to church on Sunday doesn't mean you are truly saved or have eternal life. There is only One Way to be saved. There is only One Name given under heaven that can save us. Consider what Jesus said to the Pharisees, the religious leaders of His day. He called them blind leaders of the blind. White-washed tombs, full of death. "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.' (Matthew 23:13) He let them know they weren't saved and weren't going to heaven even though they were religious.
Being religious makes you nothing. It just deceives you and leads you further away from God if you are putting your trust in it to save you. The only hope we have of eternal life is in Jesus Christ and His grace that saves us through faith in Him. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8,9)
Have a great day. Jesus' death was not in vain... it is the only way that we can be saved.
For further reading:
Matthew 15:14; 23:27
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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