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Jailhouse Religion

Anchor Devotional - 02.26.15


"...who has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time."
(2 TIMOTHY 1:9)

2 Timothy 1:8-12

People ask me about the problem of “jailhouse religion.” They’re concerned I might be wasting my time ministering to inmates who profess Christianity in order to get attention, sympathy, or special treatment.

It’s true that many “Christians” in prison have never really understood the Gospel. But one doesn’t have to be in prison to have a works-centered view of salvation. “Jailhouse religion” (which the Bible calls hypocrisy) is actually the default position of the human soul.

Today’s passage reminds us that the Gospel is indeed good news. It’s good news that God hasn’t left us to save ourselves by our own works. It’s good news that He chose His people before the world began (Ephesians 1:4). It’s good news that we contribute nothing to our salvation but depend entirely on the finished work of Jesus at the cross. This is why Paul can write, “Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God” (v. 8, KJV).

Scripture Focus

2 Timothy 1:8-12

Insight

THE POWER OF GOD IS SUFFICIENT TO SAVE US BY THE LIFE, DEATH, AND RESURRECTION OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST.

Read the Bible

  • Leviticus 21-22
  • Psalm 57
  • Luke 21