What is religion?
What is a relationship?
What’s the difference between the two?
So many people, when they decide it’s time to get a handle on their life, once they decide it’s time to change, they turn to religion. They turn to a set of rules that will supposedly make them a better person, which ultimately will get them into heaven. We, as humans, as sinners, do not deserve to go to heaven. We will never be good enough to make it to heaven. No set of rules can change who we are… but GOD can. We can have a RELATIONSHIP with Him. He can turn us into a new creation! A creation that is new, clean, pure. When you have a relationship with God, you are no longer broken, you are not longer hopeless, you are not forgotten, you are not bound by sin, you are a new creation, you are FREE!
Religion can be very different than having a Relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Religions are man made, and are based on trying to get to God through rules and regulations and works. Man made religions all are based on people’s efforts at reaching God and being made right with Him through their own efforts. God’s plan for man’s salvation and for being right with Him is told throughout the Bible, in the Old Testament and the New Testament. God’s plan is not based on people’s efforts and good works, but is based on His amazing Love and amazing Grace for us; His plan involved His precious Son Jesus, paying the price and cost for our sins on the cross. You need to put ALL of your trust and faith in Jesus and in what He did for us on the cross, and not in any religion or in your own efforts. Simply put all of your trust and faith in Jesus, and accept His gift of salvation and eternal life, and experience the joy of having a right RELATIONSHIP of love with God.
Being “religious” is keeping God at a distance. There are many religious people who do not have a relationship with God and they’re completely missing the mark. They keep God neatly tucked away in a drawer only thinking about Him when it’s “church time”. Restricting God to only one area of our lives is wrong and will bring a lot of heartache. Spending time in prayer and truly waiting for God’s confirmation would prevent lots of mistakes from being made and many wrong turns from being taken. Life is already difficult even if you are connected to God, but without Him the consequences can be terrifying.
Religion (Self Effort, Works)
Goal: reach out ot God, try to work your way into heaven
Means: diligent service & works, with hopes of a reward (heaven)
Power: good, honest effort through self-determination
Control: self-motivation and self control
Results: apathy, failure, chronic guilt, eternal separation from God
Salvation Through Faith In Jesus Christ (Personal Relationship)
Goal: trust fully in Jesus, then live to please Him
Means: confess sins, repent, yield self to Jesus
Power: the Holy Spirit does God’s work in and through us
Control: allow the Holy Spirit to control & direct our lives
Results: love, joy, peace, freedom, victory, power, eternal life in heaven
“Man’s way to reach God is religion; God’s way to reach man is Jesus.”
“I (Jesus) am the way, the truth, and the life. No one may come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
“For by grace are you saved, through faith; and this not of your own, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
C.S Lewis said “You can begin as nothing had ever gone wrong, white as snow.”