In my experience, the biggest obstacle in the way of the gospel is this thing now called “religion“. But what we need is not religion, but a relationship.
True religion is seen in Micah 6:8:
“He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way, religion has changed from this to become a set of rules and traditions that got set in place to keep us from sinning. And if we follow these rules, we’re ok (how far from the truth that is). But the act of this process has produced fake Christians, or what I would call Pharisees. Over time, what people think of when they hear the word Christian has changed from “Christ Follower” and “Christ-like” to “Hypocrite” and “Judgemental”…in essence, “Pharisees“.
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.”
Following a set of rules is not being a true Christian, its being a Pharisee! We are in no way being a disciple if we don’t actually know the God we worship. That’s why we need to get past this thing now called religion and get into a relationship with our Savior Jesus. In Galatians, Paul explains that righteousness cannot be gained by following a set of rules.
“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
The grace of God is the only thing that gains us righteousness. The deeper we get into a relationship with Jesus, the one who loved us so much that he died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:6-8), the more His love and grace produces the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. True religion should come as a result.
So let us remember that a relationship with Jesus, which only comes from getting to know Him better, should be the pursuit of our life. We need to surrender ourselves to Him, and rely on His strength to get us there, not our own. Read your Bible and pray. Seek God’s heart with humility…learn to love Him from the way He loves you.
In God’s Love and Grace,