Monday, July 27, 2009

Only Two, Only One Viable

"...there are only two religions in the world--a true and a false. We distinguish between many, many religions: Christianity, Buddhism, [Islam], etc.; and we divide Christianity into Presbyterian, Baptist, Reformed, Lutheran, Episcopalian, etc. But these are merely human classifications. With God there are only two: (1) a religion of works; and (2) a salvation by grace. Every church or denomination or religious group which teaches that man has anything at all to do with obtaining or earning or meriting his salvation is a false religion, regardless of its denominational or sectarian name. It is the religion of fig leaves and the offering of Cain.

"On the other hand, those who teach that men are totally lost, completely impotent to save themselves, and therefore must look to the work of God exclusively, are the recipients of true salvation under whatever name they may be known. Satan deceived Adam and Cain, making them feel they could do something to be saved, or at least help God a little bit in the work. But God refused to recognize it and provided salvation by grace.

"Satan has not changed his method since then, but is still deceiving and causing people to believe they can please God by human works and efforts. Salvation by grace is a humiliating message to bring. Man will admit he is sick and needs some help, but tell him he is 'dead' in trespasses and in sins and totally depraved and he will be insulted. Yet, until a person is willing to admit that he cannot do anything, but must rely completely on the grace of God, he cannot be saved."

--M.R. DeHaan, Portraits of Christ in Genesis (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel, 1995), 75.

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