An elderly man kneels before an idol of stone. In his calloused hands is a bowl of rice and a coconut — more food than he has eaten in weeks. In devoted prayer, he cracks open the coconut and offers it to the lifeless god before him.
In an attempt to please a god, millions strive to do all they can to work their way to Heaven. In Hinduism, there are 330 million gods who must be appeased. Buddhism requires practice of the Four Noble Truths to achieve nirvana. In Islam, paradise is found when good works outweigh bad deeds on the scale. These are all religions of “do,” which believe Heaven can be attained through human achievement.
Although there are many different beliefs, there are only two religions — Biblical Christianity and everything else. There’s “do,” and there’s “done.” What Christ did on the cross is done through divine accomplishment. Reminding ourselves how others are attempting to work their way to Heaven will not only help us be careful to prohibit even a hint of works from being mingled with grace, but this will also help us appreciate that our sin debt was paid in full on the cross.
Believer, our message needs to be clear. Keep the gospel pure — grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Article by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.