It is truly amazing that religion is what people often want, but Jesus is what people really need. Religion is all about achieving, accomplishing, and earning our way toward God’s approval. Many say “just tell me what to do and I will do it.” The Apostle Paul before his new birth was as religious a person as there has ever been and yet it left him spiritually bankrupt. He called all that religious righteousness rubbish compared to knowing Christ.
People who depend on religion are usually boasting about what they have done (their good works). But a spiritually minded Christian has nothing about which to boast. He or she boasts only in the Lord.
As Christians we are to put no confidence in the flesh. The popular religious philosophy of today is “the Lord helps those who help themselves”. It was also popular in Paul’s day and it is just as wrong today as it was back then. The Bible has nothing good to say about the flesh and yet most people today depend entirely on what they themselves can do to please God. It’s all about a works righteousness by observing the rules and regulations of the law. However, God’s Word tells us, “no one will be declared righteous by observing the law…(Romans 3:20).
Losing your religion is all about living by a faith righteousness that is by grace, not a works righteousness. Ephesians 2:8,9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” I Corinthians 1:30, 31 reads, “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord’” Well, Amen!
Remember the secret mystery of our faith…Christ in us the hope of glory…it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me…for we died and our life is now hidden with Christ in God…and all this is by faith, not works.
I remember reading about a couple talking to their pastor about this matter of faith and works. They said, “We believe that getting to heaven is like rowing a boat. One oar is faith, the other is works. If you use both, you get to heaven. If you use only one, you go around in circles.” The pastor replied, “There is only one thing wrong with your illustration. Nobody is going to heaven in a row boat!”
There is only one good work that will take anyone to heaven, and that is the finished work of Christ Jesus on the cross. That’s it. Praise God!
Life Lesson: Christianity is not about us, it’s all about Jesus. How can I be so sure? Because the Bible makes it very clear. We died, remember? And our life is now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). Therefore, it can’t be about us, it’s all about Jesus living His life in and through us and it doesn’t get any better than that.
Bottom Line: Lose your religion and trust in Christ’s righteousness in you, your only hope of glory. Colossians 3:4 says, “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Amen again!
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