Relationship vs. Religion

Do you have a relationship with Christ or a religion that you follow.  Learn the difference in the two.
Relationship vs. Religion

Hebrews 12:3 “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds

  • Most Christians struggle because they see it as religion instead of a relationship
    • Most people think the Christian life is a moral code we are to live by. A system of religion that conforms me to a high standard of ethical behavior.
  • But no matter how perfect we become we always fall short

 

  1. It’s not complicated
    1. Religion complicates things
    2. A lot of times we treat God as the Principal, we must report to if we misbehave
    3. Often times we try to earn God’s love
      1. This is performance based acceptance – which is great for the world but falls apart when it comes to faith
      2. God already loves and accepts you to the full capacity (He cannot love you more and you cannot earn more)
    4. Sadly for most believers Christ has moved from a Savior to a Sheriff
  2. Think Relationship not Religion
    1. You were saved by a person (Christ) not a practice (Religion)
    2. Obedience has nothing to do with love and acceptance
  3. Spiritual Growth
    1. Many of us move from saving grace to earning goodness
    2. As if God saved me freely but then only accepts me conditionally (Remember God already fully loves and accepts me)
    3. Does God want to change our character and modify our sinful behavior? Titus 2:11-12
      For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world
      1. Yes, but notice it is through grace not our disciplined grit

What we experience in Christ

  1. Joy + Hardness
    Hebrews 10:32 “But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions
  2. Peace + Conflict
    Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
    1. Peace inside conflict outside
    2. Peace with Christ conflict with our sin
  3. Forgiveness + Failure
    Romans 7:19 “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”
    1. We try and fail, our conscience condemns us, our new birth makes us sensitive to our sinfulness
  4. Answers + More Questions
    I Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
    1. Becoming a Christian gives big answers but it also leads to more questions, and many of those questions God reserves the answer for later.

Realities we need to accept

  1. We are saved but still struggling
    Romans 7:24-25 “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
    1. I’m wretched but my deliverance is not up to me, it is up to God through Jesus
    2. Saved but struggling
    3. Secure but stumbling
    4. Accepted but spiritually awkward
  2. We are dependent in every way
    1. Many Christians see salvation as a faith decision, but spiritual growth as a do it yourself project
    2. Remember we are His workmanship, He receives the glory for what is done. We are fully dependent on Him
  3. The Christian Life is not hard its impossible
    1. The Christian life is a journey you take with God not a climb you do for Him.
    2. It is an exercise of knowing Him, not winning Him
    3. You can never earn more of God’s love and acceptance
    4. We are unconditionally accepted by Christ
      1. Unconditional Acceptance and Absolute Dependence

You need relationship not religion
You need a rea walk with a living Savior, not a religious system of reforming works.

If you desire to understand and enjoy real Christianity then:

Step off the ladder of achievement and step under the cross of acceptance
Choose Relationship over Religion

John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”