9th January 2013 by Bill Davis
I often hear of people turning from “religion” due to what I would call the legalistic rituals and stack of do’s and don’ts.If we go back to the real source of direction, we will find the Bible itself reveals what is important and essential to the Christian faith. There are a number of these “essentials” such as the deity of Christ, the Holy Trinity, salvation by God’s grace, not our works; salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ as He conquered death. These are the main“essentials” that we should understand and believe if we are followers of Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 New International Version (NIV); “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
It is important to realize we are ALL sinners. Even those of us who live as close to a God centered life as earthly beings can.
Romans 3:23 New International Version (NIV); “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3:10 New International Version (NIV); “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.”
Ecclesiastes 7:20 New International Version (NIV); “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.”
Romans 6:23 New International Version (NIV); “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life inChrist Jesus our Lord.”
We are all sinners and this can separate us from God. The penality for this separation is eternal punishment in Hell. As hard as we may try, there is no way we can earn the right to eternal life within the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ death on the cross and the sheading of His blood, paid for the sins of mankind, giving us  access to heaven and an eternal relationship with God. He did not have to do this. He chose to sacrifice His Son for us. Why? The answer lives very clearly throughout Scripture.
John 3:16 New International Version (NIV); “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 New International Version (NIV); “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
You see, there really is nothing we can do to earn salvation or God’s favor apart  from His grace. It is that we were all washed clean in the very blood of Jesus Christ and through His resurrection; Christianity is set apart from all other religions. All  other religions are based on the works we do ourselves. A type of “scorecard” if you will. Other’s faiths are too often based on a powerless deity or earthly person; but they die and stay dead. The Christian faith is based on  Christ willing crucifixion and then His triumphant resurrected to life. To deny this death and resurection, is to deny the very essence of God’s work through Him here on earth.
1 Corinthians 15:14 New International Version (NIV); “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
Jesus, Himself, told us He was the Temple and It could not be destroyed by mere man. We can deny It’s very existence but who are we to question the awesome power and love of God?
John 2:19-21 New International Version (NIV); “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ They replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”
They were so blind and nieve, for the temple our Savior had spoken of was his body.
Bill Davis

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