Religion vs. the Gospel

The past few months, God has been bringing me back to the basics of Christianity (which I think should never, ever leave you as a Christian!). At Biola, it was easy to toss around words like “grace” and “the Gospel” and not really thinking through what they mean. It’s also easy to say things like, “Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.” I agree with this statement, but recently in my life, religion has dominated. I’ve been living as if God is displeased with me and I have to earn my way back into His favor. I’ve thought that if I do the right things, God will love me more. I have been incredibly frustrated spiritually lately because of course I cannot do the right things on my own. Of course I cannot earn my way back into God’s favor when there is nothing in me that’s good.  Last week I decided to listen to a sermon online from my church in Austin, found here. The sermon I randomly chose is entitled Religion vs. the Gospel, and it was JUST what I needed to hear. These were my favorite points, and maybe they will make as much sense to you as they did to me.

Religion says follow all of the rules, and then maybe you can earn your way back to God.

The Gospel says that the way back to God has already been earned for you though Jesus.

Religion says that I’ve been good and I am entitled to God’s blessings.

The Gospel says that God if you never give me anything besides the cross, I am the most blessed person in humanity because you have given me more than I deserve.

Religion says, “I obey that I might be accepted.”

The Gospel says “I’m accepted, therefore I obey.”

Based on that, don’t you know want your life to be about The Gospel, rather than religion? I know I do. God has done it all for us, accept it and believe it.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lee!! Thanks for the post! It is so true and I feel like I am in a similar boat. Number 1: I constantly find myself realizing that I didn’t really understand half the Christian jargon that I learned growing up and that I have to go back and re-learn the basics of Christianity also; and number 2: that I recognize in myself this sense of entitlement with God, as if I deserve his love and grace, which is so far from the truth. I find that it can be really hard to deal with these things that I see in myself, but we are not without hope, since we have Christ to help transform us and renew us every step of the way! Thanks for your candidness. Love you!

  2. Emily says:

    Christie! You are totally right about Christian jargon. Biola was a great place, but I feel like I tossed around so many words there all the time without fully understanding what they meant, just to feel as spiritual as those around me. You are so right that we are not without hope. I’m so glad we have a gracious, good God! Love you.

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