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The Christian’s Continual Boxing Match – Round 1 of 10

Gospel vs. Religion

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

I’m a good Christian. I hear that a lot. What they’re really saying is, I follow the rules. I worship the rules. Too many Christians have turned religion into an idol. The reason that idolatry is so alluring is that idols promise to make life worth living, bring us happiness, and provide for us and sense of being good. All of these desires are fine, but they turn into evil when they become our focus, rather than Jesus, who alone makes life worth living[1]. For many, it seems that control, comfort, and quiet are the idols many people are devoted to worshipping. We have elevated many things to a god-like status that aren’t really God-like at all. Over the next 10 weeks, I’d like to make aware the 10 differences between God’s truth (gospel) and the Christian’s idol (religion).

Round 1 of 10

Religion says, God will not love me until I obey his rules long enough to earn His love.

This view is like a father telling his children, If you obey all my rules for the next year, then I’ll be your daddy. I would’ve never had a dad if this were the case.

Gospel says, Because God has already loved me, and expressed His love through the work of Jesus on the cross, I am now free from sin to live a new obedient life by the power of His love give to me as a FREE gift.

Check out these verses here: 1 John 4:7-11

Jesus loved us through the cross before we ever loved Him. It is His love that transforms you and inspires you to love Him and the people in your life, and love them more each day. This obedient act (to love Him and love others) is not what we have to do because of duty, but it’s what we get to do in delight. Unlike with religion, Jesus loves us so that we might obey Him rather than demanding that we obey Him so that He, in turn, can love us. If God chose to love me based on what I’ve done for Him lately, one – He wouldn’t love me that much some days, and two – our relationship would be dysfunctional. Round 1 goes to Gospel.


[1] Driscoll, Mark, Death by Love, pgs 93-94


May 12, 2010 - Posted by | Zach |

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