Religion, by the simpliest definition is man’s systematized attempts to reach out to “the Divine.” Christinity is so unique that it all starts with the realization of the Good News that God has already reached out to us! He already made the One Way, not a man-made way, but a God-given way-thru the person and the work of Jesus.
Here’s what I think:
1. It’s NOT ABOUT YOU!
Religion focuses on the external actions-how “faithful” you are, how “committed” you are etc.
Yet this is why the Christian gospel is good news! Take a deep breathe here’s the truth…Christianity is all about Christ! It was never about how externally “good” or righteous a person is. Its about how awfully bad we are and how amazingly good Jesus is! It rightly begins with an understanding about the Person of Jesus and His Work-His perfect life of righteousness, His substitutionary death for us on the cross and His victory over the power and consequences of our sin when He rose again from the death!
Let Jesus be rightfully known that he might be truly loved!
Colossians 1:15-20; Ephesians 2:8-9
2. A DIFFERENT MOTIVATION
Good works, giving to the less privileged and needy, to missions, volunteering at church activities, leading and serving a commuity group, Bible reading and studies, prayer, attending youth groups, worship services, etc. and all the “religious” and “Christian” acts are definitely good but the big question to consider is “Why are you doing these?”
Religion does good works out of guilt. A grace-driven Christian does it out of gratitude. Religion does it to “please” God with performances Christians does it because of a desire to please Him by faith because of His great grace.
Let His Story be loved that we could Make History for His Glory!
2 Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 2:10 & 3:21; Hebrews 11:1
3. Mere Knowledge Vs. An ENCOUNTER
Religion demands that you follow a set of rules of Do’s and Don’ts and that you Know, Know, and Know as if Its all about KNOW-ing. But it’s all about an inside-out life-change because of a personal Encounter with God. (Isaiah 6:5; Saul in Acts 9:17-18; Cornelius in Acts 10:34-43)
I could merely KNOW how awesome it is to watch Transformers 3 in an IMAX 3D Theatre, how good the lights are, the clarity of the high definition screen is, the sound effects that are so doubly digitally Dolby….but not until someone gives me a free ticket (because I can’t afford it :)) and EXPERIENCE what it really MEANS to watch a movie in an IMAX 3D will I only TRULY KNOW what watching in IMAX means.
Let Him bring back AMAZING in His Grace, and allow Jesus to ignite a fire within you that no one else even you yourself could shut. And like candles in the dark may our lives shine louder than what we proclaim that more men would know how good and liberating the Real Christ of CHRISTianity truly is!