What the false religions of the world have in common is that they all want to come to God on their terms. The problem is, since God has spoken, we cannot simply decide how we will reach Him and receive salvation. Rather, we must come to God on His terms alone.
Since God is just and holy, He must punish those who have broken His law. As Psalm 7:11 states, “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.” God is angry with the wicked and must punish sin, so how can one receive forgiveness from their law breaking? (ESV)
The answer is not religion. The typical,”I will do enough good stuff and God will forgive me and let me into heaven” is not going to work. The reason being is because the penalty for breaking God’s law is death and punishment in hell (Rom. 3:23, Revelation 21:8).
Yet amazingly, God took on the form of a man through Jesus Christ to take the punishment we deserve by dying on the cross for our sins. Jesus was actually punished in the place of sinners on the cross. Isaiah 53:4-5 states, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.”
Jesus the Messiah died so we do not have to experience God’s wrath and the second death in hell. So how does one receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life? It is a free gift God offers through His grace, or favor which we do not deserve. As Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Christianity is the only faith in which salvation is a gift to be received, not a title to be earned.
Once one has repented and placed their faith in Jesus, they are seen as righteous in the sight of God and their sins are remembered no more. Jesus’s perfect life is transferred to the believer and the Christian’s old sinful life is wiped away, “For our sake he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Now that is good news!