Calling All Contenders - Mike Muzzerall

It's A Relationship, Not A Religion!

The world sees Christianity as one of the plethora of religions that man attempts to live by. According to David Barrett, an author of the World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey Of Churches And Religions AD 30 to 2200, there are “19 major world religions which are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups, and many smaller ones. Thirty-four thousand separate Christian groups have been identified in the world.”

However, when you understand the true gospel message, you have to say that when it comes to true Christianity, it’s a relationship, not a religion.

GOD BECOMING MAN How can we say that true Christianity is not a religion? Religion is a set of rules and rituals imposed on mankind in order to reach God. True Christianity is about God loving us so much that He sent His Son so that we could have a relationship with Him. It is God’s only begotten Son becoming man so that sinful man, through the completed work of Calvary, can have a relationship with a holy God.

PUT ON THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST Religion says, “I can” while true Christianity says, “Christ has already done it.” It’s either having faith in your abilities to keep rules, follow traditions, and walk holy in your own efforts, or it’s understanding the hopelessness of man’s attempt to be holy and, by faith, putting on the righteousness of Christ through faith in the Christ of the Cross and the Cross of Christ.

IT IS FINISHED, OR IS IT? When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He meant it! The Greek word Jesus cried out was tetelestai which means “it is finished; it is paid in full.” It is found in the perfect tense. The action was done in the past and continues to the present. It was paid in full and will for all eternity remain “paid in full.” The law has been fulfilled with the result that it remains fulfilled. No amount of religious activity on our part is required nor could add to the payment already made upon the old rugged Cross.

GOD HATES RELIGION In reality, God hates religion. He hates any attempt by mankind that tries to earn what God so freely wants to give us. He gave His Son for us. Do you really think we can impress Him with our works?

“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

We cannot earn our salvation through religious works. It is an exercise in futility that yields nothing acceptable to God.

SAVED AND SANCTIFIED We are not saved by grace and then sanctified by works. We are not saved by God and then sanctified by self. The means by which we are saved will always be the means by which we are sanctified. We were saved through the precious blood of the Lamb of God. We then received the imputed righteousness of Christ. Imputed means, “freely given.” This means that we did not earn it.

A PERSONAL SAVIOUR I have a personal Saviour who loved me so much that He went to the Cross and bore my sins. He wants to have a relationship with the ones He died for. He wants us to rest in Him. He wants us to serve Him out of love and not out of compulsion. Religion sets rules; relationship with Jesus sets you free from man-made rules. Jesus died to free us from sin, guilt, punishment, and religion. It’s a relationship and not a religion.

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