Religion or Relationship?

I am starting to see a pattern of when God is speaking to me surrounding the things in my spirit at particular points in time. This week I had a good conversation with a friend from my church about religions through out the world, and their was some talk with new friends I have met recently about being religious. Of course, I have also recently met some people that just really don’t believe God exists. There are some things that I know to be true, and that is when talked about religion can be controversial, passionate, personal, and biased. So what is religion? The basic dictionary version says

a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

In a nutshell, religion involves a god of some type and you working, paying or earning your way to into the afterlife once you die. Some people will also argue that all paths lead to the same god but they are just different ways to get there based on your culture or race. I have read over most religions, and I don’t see that all paths lead to God, any assurance of salvation, no answer of how sin gets righteously handled, and frustration because I know I will never be good enough on my own.

My only personal experience with religion is growing up Roman Catholic. I went through the sacraments of Baptism,Eucharist (First Communion), and Confirmation. Looking back I only see that I performed religious rituals, but in the end I had absolutely no relationship with God. Today I am a true follower of Christ. Although, many see Christianity as just another religion truthfully it’s not. Jesus was harshest with the Pharisees or religious leaders of His day because to them it was about self righteousness in following the Law. In fact, the Law or 10 Commandments were given as a mirror to us so that we could look into it and see there was no way we could ever be good enough on our own to enter heaven.

The Bible teaches that humanity is separated from a holy, and righteous God by our sinful nature. It has nothing to do with race or culture. Sin leads to death, and eternal separation from God, who being righteous and just, must punish sin. If He didn’t then He would not be a good judge, and would not be worthy our our worship. But God loves us so much that He makes a way for us to be saved from that wrath, and punishment.

Jesus takes the wrath and punishment that we deserve and pays the penalty for our sin. Jesus is the way, and in fact He is the only way to bridge the gap of separation between God and man. That is the good news of the Gospel! Salvation is a gift from God that we can never work for or earn.  What to you have to do? You must accept, believe, and trust by faith that the work Jesus did on the cross, and His dying satisfied the punishment for your sin. It’s that simple. It is about relationship not religion. It is about what the work He did, and not us working.

People may object, have doubts, and a stream of buts when it comes the Jesus being the only way. Let me give you this analogy. You are in a burning building on the 50th floor. Some ways out are blocked with smoke, and some by fire. I come up to you with a fireman, and I say follow this fireman, trust him because he knows the way out to safety, and all you have to is stick close to him he will get you out. You would not argue or debate about it, you would go. Jesus is the way!

All you have to is trust, believe, and follow Him because He is the way to God, and salvation. The Bible is clear that just like in Jesus day,  many will reject Christ, and His free gift of salvation. They see it as foolishness because of their sin, and the hardness of their hearts. But it’s not about others! The question is what about you? What will you do with Jesus?

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. – (John 3:16)

  • for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)
  • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
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One thought on “Religion or Relationship?

  1. Good morning. A great summary of the problem (sin) the ramifications of the problem (death) and the solution to the problem (Jesus) he is the way, the truth, and the life.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.

    timbob

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