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

July 14, 2010

Gospel vs. Religion

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 become 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 10 of 10

Religion strives after power through one’s own self-righteousness.

Gospel strives after power through the cross of Jesus, and through an empty tomb.

The Bible repeatedly says that God is righteous in everything He does, and that there is no one righteous but Him alone (Psalm 11:7; Isa. 45:21; Daniel 9:14). To clarify, the Bible uses the word “righteous” to show that God is straight, right, sinless, just, holy, perfect, and good.

As His image bearers, human beings were also made righteous, or what Genesis 1:31 calls “very good” and what Ecclesiastes 7:29 calls “upright”. But since the sins of our original parents, Adam and Eve, unrighteous living has been done by everyone who has walked this earth, except for Jesus Christ, the Author of the Gospel.

The good news of the Gospel is Jesus Christ, not self. Jesus is our glorious eternal God who humbly became a human being as the second Adam; He came to create a new humanity by taking back through obedience all that was lost through the sin of the first Adam, according to 1st Corinthians 15:45.

On the cross, the righteous Jesus died in our place as a substitute for us unrighteous sinners as 1 Peter 3:18 says: For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.

All in all, religion takes one further away from God. The Gospel always brings people closer to God. The Gospel knocks out religion as God still continues to pursue the world through the message of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. May our lives do the same in all we do.     

Zach


[1] Driscoll, Mark, Death by Love, pg. 93

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July 14, 2010 Posted by | Zach | | Leave a comment