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,
I would look for a local church that teaches directly from the bible and does not waver from it for its doctrine, but also teaches cultural relevance. If you need help finding a church, you could send me your zip code and I could do some research for you.
Hi…good articles…just have a question…since i don’t have a “religion” preference…how do i know which type of church to go to?
I’m so tired of so many rules and things you have tondo to become members of church ,application to fill out meetings to go to , Did Jesus require us to do all these things I’ve been hurt too many times in church by people that call themselves Christians and all my gifts were exploited and I felt spiritually raped. Now my relationship with Christ is strong and people seem to think that my gifts will go unused because I wont go to church all the time like they do ,I love fellowship with people that are flawed and aren’t so spiritually minded their are no earth good . Please pray for my heart and that Jesus will show me what itnisnim missing .thank you and bless you for your outreach.
I have contemplated this for a while and do not think that I can ever live for Jesus. Truly there is nothing I can do for Him so I should not try. It is more that because of Him I live. It is impossible for me to love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I say this because true pure love is God therefore to do this it must be Him who does this in and through me. Therefore in order to live by grace is to seek Him in His word, in prayer, in everything; to submit to the truth that is revealed when He is found; and finally to surrender all (that I am aware of) so that His spirit will be able to abide and grow in me. Then it is the spirit which leads me and the flesh which wars against it. God only reveals to us what we can endure. That is why it is a life long journey because each time we seek He brings light to more of our lives and we then submit and surrender to allow Him to do what is His will. In the end it is found that we are merely yielding more to Him.
WOW! Love it! Great article brother! I am gonna use some of this stuff in my talk with our youth this Sunday! Thanks for following God with your heart!
That was a GREAT article… that simply explains the role we need to all get into (Relationship and NOT religion). I think this is one of the BIGGEST reasons many believers fall away from the faith — because they get tired of living under tiresome “spiritual” rules & regulations that they’ll never meet.