How to Be Religious and Unsaved

Jesus was teaching in one the synagogues on the Sabbath, and there was a woman there who had been disabled for eighteen years.  She was bent over and couldn’t straighten herself up.  When Jesus saw her, He called to her and said, “Woman, you are freed from your disability” (Luke 12:12).  And He laid His hands on her, and immediately, she straightened up and glorified God.  That’s an amazing act of God.  And it’s quickly followed by an appalling act of man.

Verse 14 tells us, “But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, ‘There are six days in which work ought to be done.  Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.

By the way, Jesus wasn’t breaking any of God’s laws here.  The law didn’t forbid healing the sick on the Sabbath, but the Pharisees were overzealous and added laws upon God’s laws and treated them as if they were as binding as God’s laws.  Here’s an example of a man who was religious but unsaved.

There are some who deceive themselves and say that as long as someone is sincere in their faith, then they’re saved.  Or if someone lives a good life, then they’re saved.  But someone who is sincere in their false faith is no more saved than a sincere five-year-old is an astronaut.  And someone who lives a good life hasn’t really lived a good life, because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  It’s very possible that the most religious person that you know is unsaved.

The solution to our sin problem is not religiosity.  The only solution to our sin problem is sacrifice.  But it’s not our own sacrifice, for “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6).  It’s the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who “in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).  And because this sinless Savior suffered on the cross for the sake of sinners like you and me, “whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

If you’re reading this and you’re trying to be saved through religiosity, stop now.  You can never be religious enough to earn God’s favor.  Turn away from your sins, and trust wholly in Jesus for your salvation, and you will be saved.  Then, you’ll find true religion.

Today’s readings:

  • Psalm 21
  • Genesis 21:1-21
  • 1 Chronicles 25
  • Luke 13:10-35
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