The Gospel and all other Religions: Two Differences

At last week’s Bible Study, we looked at some of the world’s different religions, comparing them to Biblical teachings. I suggested that these faiths generally made their followers good people. They bred piety, good deeds and strong bonds of fellowship. They could keep their followers out of court, but not out of hell. Only Jesus, the name given to men by which we must be saved, can do that. Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism all assume two things:

  1. Man is born good, but chooses to commit sins. By choosing not to commit these sins, he may free himself from evil;
  2. This decision to be good, mixed in with religious ritual and devotion, will please the appropriate deity into offering him a blessed afterlife.

The Gospel opposes both of these points:

  1. Sin is more than a list of rules we choose to break; it is an utter contamination. We are sinful by nature, not just by choice. We are therefore helpless to choose otherwise.
  2. Our righteous acts are as filthy rags to God; we can no more impress Him with our good deeds that can a bloody murderer impress the judge by wearing a tie at his trial. Only Christ, our substitute, lived the righteous life that through grace is reckoned as ours; His death paid for our salvation.