Have you noticed that religion is a word that stirs up hostility from the secular world? Webster’s dictionary defines religion as belief in a supernatural power to be obeyed and worshiped. Yet I can’t help but ask who or what are we obeying? The Amplified Bible defines religion as “very reverent to demons.” In addition, a person might observe all kinds of religious ceremonies which make a person appear very pious. However, God is not satisfied with rituals but desires a life of practical godliness.
What are some other differences between man made religion and Christianity? One of the most prominent characteristics of religion is performance. Religion says your value comes by what you do, by things that can be measured by man. Surprisingly this belief system doesn’t require true spirituality. For example, you can sing for the church, play a musical instrument, teach Sunday school, say all the right words, or have a gift that is useful to the body of Christ and then you are a good Christian “serving the Lord.” When actually a person may not even be a believer or is a believer who is far from God and walking in self-indulgence.
A person living under Christianity cannot earn the value that Christ already gave when He laid down His life. The price Christ paid provided unconditional acceptance. Ephesians 1:6 says that, “we are accepted in the Beloved.” Now motivation to give to the church family springs from a willing, happy heart. We use our spiritual gift because Christ calls us to serve. Thankfully, our service is meant to be under a “light burden and easy yoke” Matt 11:30. Jesus Christ receives all the credit for any good results. After all it is His gift and His working through us to accomplish it. Dear Christian, turn your back on religion which is man’s efforts to do good. Turn to the Gospel of Christ which is a supernatural power working in us to accomplish the impossible. May we let the world know that God began a new work at the cross. It is not the old worn out system of man’s pride and conceit. May our voluntary obedience and worship be to the One who loved us enough to give a brand new life that is not bound by human limitations and performance. We are the people who have been set free.