The unbelieving world has repeatedly demonstrated that it has the mistaken belief that Christians are the “good people.” The world often describes Christians (often sarcastically so) as those who follow the rules, do things right, always be moral and so forth. That’s why they are so very quick to point out professing Christians who sin publicly. There is a perverse pleasure in putting on display, for the world to see, a Christian who did something wrong, who failed to measure up. In the eyes of the world, the Christian is someone who lives their lives always obeying God, earning favor with Him by doing what is right. Because of this belief, they feel justified when we fall, because it means that, since we can’t toe the line, why should they bother? But this belief is rooted in a complete misunderstanding of what it means to be a Christian. Christianity is not a “do” religion; it is a “done” religion. Our standing before God is not based on what we do for Him, but what He has already done for us.
I have previously written on how Christianity can be the only way when there are a myriad of other world religions. The truth is that there are really only two religions, the religion of God and the religion of man. The religion of man is the broad path of human achievement which leads to Hell. Man seeks to atone for his own sins through various works to appease whatever false god he has set up in his mind. His works cannot ever bring salvation because his nature is sinful; therefore, all that he does is sinful by consequence. A sinful work can never atone for a sinful heart. Every religion outside of Jesus Christ is part of the religion of man. The true religion of God is that which is accomplished in the completed work of Jesus Christ. His bloody sacrifice on the cross is the only possible atonement for sin because it is the perfect, sinless blood of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. His propitiatory death paid the debt sinners owe to the perfect Judge in Heaven. His resurrection, the resounding defeat of sin and death, promises eternal life to all who submit themselves to Him in repentance and faith. This is religion of the narrow path that few find because it requires that man humble himself, acknowledging his own inability to save himself, and trust in the work of God to redeem him.
When the world looks at Christians and assumes that we are a people who are part of a “do” religion, it errs on a monumental level. True, biblical Christianity takes someone who is depraved by nature and, through a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, changes his nature completely. The Christian is freed from the bonds of sin and is made righteous in the eyes of God. Rather than having to follow a bunch of spiritual do’s and dont’s to appease God, the Christian is made perfect in God’s eyes by being given the perfect righteousness of Christ. In other words, all of Christ’s perfect work is already credited at the times of salvation to the Christian. There is nothing more the Christian can do to add to the completed work of Jesus. Nor can the Christian take anything away by his failure to obey God. He is at one time justified. Additionally, as stated above, the Christian’s nature is changed. Prior to salvation, all people are slaves to their sinful nature. Nothing we do is without the taint of selfish, self-pleasing, sin. We are bound to it like a slave to his master. Yet, in Christ, the Christian is freed from the bonds of sin. He is now able to choose to not sin because he has been given a new heart with godly desires. The Christian obeys God, not out of an attempt to earn God’s favor, but out of a genuine love for the One who changed him.