Just because a man walks into a barn, it doesn’t make him a cow. Nor does going to church make you a Christian!
For many people, going to church or having grandparents who go to church, makes them Christians. Christianity is a tagline inherited from our family or through participating in a ritual. The Bible says that salvation is a gift of God, given by Him apart from anything in or from us (Ephesians 2:8-9). We don’t accept Him; He accepts us on the basis of His gift of faith.
An early cult that attached itself to Christianity taught that salvation was achieved and kept by following the Commandments in the Old Testament, especially the commandment for men to be circumcised. It was a salvation by works, favor with God by doing good things.
In his letter to the believers in the Greek city of Philippi, the Apostle Paul wrote otherwise. We are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3). Paul claimed plenty of religious works but counted them all as rubbish or dung, to gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).
First, Christian worship is primarily a spiritual act and not an outward ritual. Second, the Christian’s joy and pride is not in himself or his good deeds but in the Person of Jesus Christ. Third, a Christian has no confidence in any religious act he has done; his confidence is only in what Jesus finished at the cross.
For those whom Christianity is only a religion, their confidence is in themselves based upon what they’ve done for God. The genuine Christian has his complete faith in the finished work of Jesus alone. That faith shows itself in the way the Christian talks, the way he lives, the choices he makes, and his hope for the future.