God Saves Both Irreligious and Religious

Posted on October 16th, 2008 by Tyler.
Categories: Christian Life.

“Most people in our culture believe that, if there is a God, we can relate to him and go to heaven through leading a good life. Let’s call this the “moral improvement” view. Christianity teaches the very opposite. In the Christian understanding, Jesus does not tell us how to live so we can merit salvation. Rather, he comes to forgive and save us through his life and death in our place. God’s grace does not come to people who morally outperform others, but to those who admit their failure to perform and who acknowledge their need for a Savior.” – Tim Keller (The Reason for God)

I would submit that there are three types of people in your fraternity or sorority: religious, irreligious, and gospel-centered Christians.


Whether these people claim to believe in God or not, they live how they want to live. They are on the throne of their life. External sins are easier to spot in this crowd – getting drunk, sex with whomever, stealing, verbally or physically abusing someone, etc. Everyone will practice external sins to varying degrees – so don’t think that someone who “isn’t that bad” is not irreligious. They key here is that they are on the throne of their life and that they don’t see a need for a Savior.


These people claim to believe in God and practice regularly in a religious denomination – trying hard to devote themselves to the teachings of that religion. Their sins are not as easy to spot as the irreligious because they are mostly internal – greed, selfishness, envy, judgment, jealousy, and most of all – pride. These people are climbing up the ladder of morality trying to become better people. Yet, at the same time, they have a sense of pride that they are much further along than everyone else. This leads to judging others who aren’t as religious as them. They think that if they keep up their performance, then they will have a better chance of being accepted by God. Rarely does a religious person see sin in his life, and if he does, he tries to hide it.


These people recognize that they are deeply flawed and broken. They realize that the gospel says that we are all sinful and in need of a Savior – which means that the irreligious and the religious are all in the same boat. No one is better than the other. Instead of spending their time rebelling and doing whatever they want (like the irreligious) or trying to earn God’s favor and judging the people who aren’t like them (like the religious) – they are confessing their brokenness daily and asking God to save them and restore them.


If you are living irreligiously, it is not too late to ask God to forgive your sins and to put Himself on the throne of your life. 1 John 1:9 says that He is faithful to forgive you if you simply ask in humility.

If you are living religiously, you need to realize that you are way more sinful than you think and that all of your efforts to earn God’s approval are useless. Ask God to give you a bigger awareness of your sin so that you can have a greater awareness of God’s mercy through Jesus’ death and resurrection. And as you experience this great mercy, you’ll be able to extend it to your fraternity brothers or sorority sisters instead of pride or judgment.

Leave a comment

Comments can contain some xhtml. Names and emails are required (emails aren't displayed), url's are optional.