Religion vs. Christianity and The Doctrine of Salvation

The Cross is the centrality of life.

Philosophy insists on the power and virtue of man by reason.

World religions promise favor by the Gods for virtuous acts (people earning favor from the ‘gods.’)

Christianity on the other hand is God’s Plan for the human race, which has three phases:

Phase One: God provided salvation for the human race by sending His Son, Jesus Christ to pay the penalty of sin — Christ would die in your place and mine. God would and did provide salvation!

Phase Two is the Christian in time.

Phase Three is the Christian in Eternity.

All three phases are provided by God for the benefit of the human race.

So, in Christianity, God gave His Son to save mankind.

God performed our salvation!

God accomplished the virtuous acts necessary to reconcile man to God.

God provided a Savior to die in our place on the Cross.

This is a point of Doctrine and a declaration of Scripture that is undeniable … this is the key that separates religion (works for salvation) from Grace (salvation work provided by God).  

Religion is “faith in works” (performance) or “works plus faith” (performance) or “faith plus works” (performance). Religion is works of the flesh.

Religion is man working his way to God by what he does for God, thereby rejecting the work of Christ on the cross, which is what God did for man. It is the epitome of pride and arrogance to reject what God has graciously provided (our salvation) by His Son.

Please, take a few moments to carefully read the following verses: John 8:24; John 14:6; Romans 1:16; 5:6, 8; Galatians 2:16; 3:13, 36; 4:19; 6:11; 8:1, 10; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 4, 30; 3:11; 4:15; 15:1-4.

There is no other way to be Saved (Acts 4:12) – Christ is the only way to Heaven – He is the only mediator (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 12:24). There is no other foundation on which to take your stand (1 Corinthians 3:11). We are washed, sanctified and justified by the Holy Spirit in the name of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11).

The most dangerous misapplication of scripture surrounds the gospel of salvation when people are told they can “invite Jesus into their heart and be saved.” This invitation is not found in Scripture. Be careful not to leave out the Cross Suffering of our Savior.

Sinful man doesn’t invite a perfect God anywhere. He invites us.

Salvation is not based on inviting Jesus into your heart! Salvation is received by faith alone in Christ alone, apart from any meritorious action (earning salvation) on your part (Acts 16:31a). The result of faith in Christ is that Christ comes into your heart. This is automatic at the point of faith — spiritual birth. ‘Christ died for you’ is the message of salvation. If you leave the cross out of the equation for salvation then there is no salvation.  

Never leave the Cross-work of Christ out of your belief…never!

Salvation (becoming a believer and being saved) is about ACCEPTINGNOT INVITING. Again, a sinful man does not invite a perfect God anywhere; that would be man doing the work. In salvation, God does the work; God did the work; it’s already done. We extend our hand and TAKE (accept) the gift through BELIEF, not invitation.


The word heresy literally means “choosing ones own ideas regarding truth; stating a known truth in error, deliberately or not.”  

It is heresy to add anything to faith in the Cross of Christ for salvation or to leave out the Cross when explaining how to be saved. 

The Epistles of Galatians and 2 Thessalonians were written by Paul, to the churches in these two cities because already in the first century Satan was busy thwarting the Gospel with false teachers “twisting truth.” In Rome, the Church was being infiltrated with false doctrine. In Romans 16:17, Paul warned the Roman believers to avoid false doctrine. In every generation truth must be declared against untruth —heresy. 

The best defense against untruth is Truth. Truth, in itself, is not debatable. Truth is absolute and it must be!

Truth is not what each of us perceives it to be. Without absolute truth, there can only be untruth — relative truth, God forbid! Man without the light of Christ cannot see Truth (John 1:1-14). The Gospel is the light of Christ which shines in a world of darkness but, men love darkness rather than light (John 1: 1-5; 9-14).

Truth in the eye of the beholder does not make truth, truth … it is untruth — heresy.

If we make our own truth we will self destruct! The world cannot exist without absolutes. We exist, therefore, there are absolutes. Absolutes have personal names — Father (God), Son (Word) and Holy Spirit (Truth).

Pilate stated the greatest question ever voiced: “What is truth?” Pilate was unaware that Truth was staring him in the face. Truth as stated emphatically in Scripture is Christ. Christ is the Word. “Thy Word is Truth” (Psalms 119:160; John 1:1-14).  

Our ministry at WOTM is to “Defend and define truth in a world of untruth.”

Simply stated — God is Truth! Truth is a person — Jesus Christ!

A mature believer recognizes untruth because he/she knows God’s absolute truth.

“Our flesh became untruth in Adam, so Truth became flesh in Jesus Christ.” — C. S. Craig

Distinction should be made between heresy, ignorance and apostasy: 

Heresy can exist with true faith and is usually a snare of Satan surrounding the Deity of Christ and/or redemption by grace through faith. Satan’s most successful counterfeit of the gospel has always been adding works to grace; adding a merit system to the cross; adding ritual without reality to make us feel right with God.

We are not right with God by what we do but, by what Christ did on the cross. It is God Himself who makes us right with God through Christ. Works are the result of faith not the means of salvation.

Ignorance, though not an excuse, is usually neglect of Bible study, improper instruction, or no instruction at all (Acts 19:1-6).

Apostasy on the other hand is the deliberate rejection or rebellion of revealed truth. Apostasy is perfectly described in 2 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

For additional scripture regarding heresies and apostasy especially in these last days turn to 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 3-17; 4:3,4; 2 Peter 2:1-19; Jude 4, 8, 11-13, 16. Apparently apostasy in the Church will not be remedied until the Judgment Seat of Christ (Isaiah 1:5-6; 5:5-7; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; 2 Peter 2:17-21; Jude 11-15; Revelation 3:14-16).


The moral fall of the entire race of human beings since Adam is provable by three unchanging facts: 

(1). Death is universal to all men (Hebrews 9:27-28).  

(2). God’s judgment of Adam’s sin passed to all men for all have sinned (Romans 5:18, 19; 6:23).

(3). Our moral state as human beings is witnessed in daily life (TV, newspapers, etc.) and described in Scripture. Please reference the following scripture: Genesis 6:5; Psalms 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 18:11; Mark 7:20-23; John 3:3-7; Romans 1:21; 2:1-29; 3:9-19; 7:24; 8:7; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 3:14; 4:4; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 2:1-3, 11-12; 4;18-22; Colossians 1:21; Hebrews 3:13; James 4:4.

Christ and Adam are contrasted in scripture (please compare Genesis 2:7 with 1 Corinthians 15: 21, 45-47. John 1:4; 5:21; 10:10; 12:24; 1 John 5:12). Also, study the first five chapters of Romans, in the New Testament.

The first representative man (Adam) is from the earth and is flesh; the second representative man (Christ) is from Heaven and is a spirit (a life-giving spirit). See also 1 Corinthians 15:47; Romans 5:8; 12-21.

Christ conquered death therefore, if we are in Christ, death has no sting (Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:55). Please read also John chapters 5, 6 & 10.


After three days, Christ rose from the dead just like He said, because the penalty for sin (Romans 6:23) had been paid (death of a righteous man — Christ). The resurrection, ascension, and current session of Christ at the right hand of the Father proves that God was propitiated — He is totally satisfied by the perfect sacrifice (Romans 3:25; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:13). In Adam all men are condemned; in Christ, by faith, all men are saved.

Three points of Doctrine:

First – the laws of Moses (ten commandants) were specifically for the survival of the Jews as a national entity. The commandments are the Magna Carta of Freedom and preservation of the human race. They were not the means of salvation for the Jews or the Gentiles.

Our Constitution and The Declaration of Independence will not save us. They are designed to give us freedom and protect us from ourselves. They do not make us justified before God. We cannot keep the commandments and we do not perfectly obey our own laws of liberty — it is humanly impossible.

Secondly, the systems of law and grace are at conflict the one with the other just as our flesh is in constant conflict with our soul and spirit (only believers have a human spirit). Law (man’s works) and God’s Grace are mutually exclusive!

Thirdly, the law is, in itself, holy just and good because it is designed by God to preserve the human race from self destructing and at the same time point us to God. Think about it — the law proves to us our inability to keep it and with no where to turn, we should turn to Christ for salvation. If we think we are keeping the law we make God a liar. Please reference Romans chapters 3-5. Chapters three, four, and five defend grace and refute works. As a matter of fact if all denominations taught Romans on a consistent basis, we could possibly eliminate denominationalism as we know it today. Romans, written by the Apostle Paul is the greatest of all the Books ever written regarding the depravity of man and the Grace of God; regarding man’s helpless position in sin; regarding man’s nature of sin and to sin; regarding justification through Jesus Christ. Give me only two books of the Bible and I’ll take John and Romans without a second thought.   

The law can not save (Galatians 2:16; 3:2-3, 11-12).

The believer is dead to the law because he is alive in Christ (redeemed).

The believer is under grace (Romans 6:14; 7:4; Galatians 2:19; 4:4-7; 1 Timothy 1:8-9). See also: (1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2; 2 John 5). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each believer means that we have the imputed righteousness of Christ (God’s own perfect righteousness). Please compare 2 Timothy 3:16-17 with Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 9:8-9; and Ephesians 6:1-3.


Trusting the Cross-work of Christ who died for you, in your place is the only way anyone can be saved from the wrath of God. Faith in Christ results in forgiveness whereby we are saved from God’s wrath. 

Learning God’s Word is learning God — it is God’s way of becoming Lord in the believer’s life. After salvation the Holy Spirit begins a work in us that never ends. We can be victorious through Christ by the Holy Spirit; the inculcation of Bible Doctrine; and Praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Praying without ceasing is simply this: always being conscious of God and thinking with Bible Doctrine in mind. It includes making our supplications known to God and confession. See Romans 8:26; 1 Corinthians 4:15; Colossians 1:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; James 5:16; 1 John 1:8-10; Revelation 5:8; 8:4.  

Dedicating or rededicating your life to Christ is not necessary because of 1 John 1:9. Repentance is confession of sins. Neither salvation nor living the Christian life is possible by what you do; it is what Christ did on Calvary and it is what the Holy Spirit does for you after salvation — this is God’s Grace. You do not rededicate your life! You continuously utilize 1 John 1:9 and God restores you to fellowship. Forgiveness of sin by God is only possible by naming your sins to God (not a Priest). Why? because Jesus Christ is our High Priest (Hebrews Chapters 7 & 8). We are to pray directly to the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit.


The instant you are saved by faith, the Holy Spirit gives you forty grace gifts and of course new ability to understand bible teaching. He gives you personal gifts for serving in the body of Christ as a believer and a special perception on life and God’s own glory which shall be revealed in us.(2 Peter 1:1-8).

See our study entitled Forty Grace Gifts.”


“I know Jesus died on the Cross and if I’m good enough I’ll go to heaven when I die.”

Jesus knows I am sincere about trying to be good and treat people right so I can go to heaven.”

“I’m as good as the next person so I’ll go to heaven before most people.”

“God knows I care and I’m sincere.”

He knows I love Him.”

“I tried to do right and I know He understands me.”

“God will be gracious and I will be with Him in Heaven when I die.”

 “God doesn’t send good people to hell.” 

“God is Love so I know He doesn’t send good people to hell.”

“I do my best most of the time and I am sincere most of the time and God knows I mean well.”

Making your own Christianity is not acceptable to God. Finding your own comfort zone of faith will not make hell comforting. You simply cannot make your own salvation. You cannot justify your thinking and actions and expect God to agree.

The Bible is available everywhere in America. There are Bible believing, Bible teaching churches throughout our great country — find one; attend one. Get saved while you still can through faith only in Christ only (John 3:15-18).


If you doubt your salvation because you have not been good enough you are correct to doubt your salvation because you CAN’T be good enough!

It is not necessarily God that you doubt — it is your own part in your salvation. Subconsciously you are relying on Christ plus yourself to save you. In other words your thinking is somewhere between 50/50 & 99/1 — either way, both assumptions are incorrect — totally inaccurate. You are saying in effect, “I believe Christ died for me so if I am good enough I know He will save me.” If this is the way you were raised to believe, you may have often wondered, Am I being good enough; Does God understand that most of the time I am doing my best? Or, if I am not always good, then how much good is good enough?” Many of us were raised to believe in this manner and this is a tough one to overcome. Many people spend their life standing on this seemingly accurate belief:  “It seems so right it can’t be wrong.” But, it is!  

The only cure for uncertainty is certainty. We are all sin-cursed souls, dead in trespasses and sin (Romans 3:20-28). You must let go of self-thinking and parent-thinking and take hold of Cross-thinking. If you rely on how you feel about your salvation, then your emotions are dictating to your soul and that just does not cut it. You cannot be objective if emotion dictates to your soul. Salvation is not based on how you feel (emotion) it is and must be based on the Biblical and historical fact that Christ died for you. God promises salvation through His Son (John 3:16). Believe it!

How you feel from moment to moment does not save you or keep you saved. Today you feel saved because you are in a good mood. Yesterday you weren’t saved because things went lousy. I repeat: “You are not saved because you feel saved!” You are saved because you have trusted a God who cannot lie {1 John 5:9-13).

God gave Christ His only begotten Son on the Cross and all you have to do is believe God’s quote in John 3:15-18 & 36. As soon as you see this simple truth, salvation is yours by simple faith. Jesus Christ is Messiah, the Son of God (Deity) who died for you — believe and be saved once and for all time and eternity (1 John 5:9-13; Hebrews 6:11; 10:22). 

“And now we commend you to God and to the ‘Word of His Grace’ which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).

 Happy Studying!


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