Pastor Conway Edwards
Bible References: Romans 8:1-3
“Getting Religion” is defined as becoming a believer or joining a religious organization and starting to lead a life that follows its teachings (an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems and worldviews that relate humanity to an order of existence). Religion takes a performance-based perspective and applies it to God, “I have to do something to prove my worth”. How does religion help us in our relationship with God? It doesn’t. It separates us. It’s why people love hanging out with Jesus but hate the church. Religion is the problem in the church today; it separates us from one another, from God and creates a judgmental forum.
That forum supports three (3) types of people:
- Individuals who don’t like to participate and engage because they hear you’re not good enough. They are reminded of the gap between what they’re doing and what religion’s rules say they should be doing.
- Individuals who compare themselves to the world and recognize they’re better than some and not as bad as others. They’re somewhere in the middle. Besides they hope that “God grades on a curve.”
- Lastly, there are the individuals who know Christ’s commandments of all people and still choose to ignore his example and lead an ungodly life.
We live in a performance-based society (e.g. sports, work, competition). We’ve applied that worldview to our relationship with God. Religion is man’s attempt to try and please God through our performance, our rules, regulations, and expectations. This ideology is contrary to God’s ultimate gift to us: the birth, death and resurrection of his son Jesus Christ. We did nothing. Christ did everything. Most Christians enter into Christ free but try to maintain it through works. We need only to be humble and recognize and accept God’s gift. We cannot be retried for our sins when we follow Christ. God asks only one thing, that we give our lives to Him.
With religion we have the law of sin and death. When we have authentic relationship with God, we have the spirit of life in Jesus Christ. We need to receive the free gift that God has given to us and praise his holy name. Our goal is not to try and please God but rather live out what he has called us to be.
Religion and authentic relationships are worlds apart. When you have rules based on the world, it undermines the relationship. Christ came for an authentic relationship with us.
Are you ready to accept His invitation?