Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
      Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus was not anti-religion.  He observed Jewish traditions and holy days, He attended services at the synagogue, He affirmed and fulfilled the law of God, He founded the New Testament church, He established church discipline, He commanded submission to authority, He affirmed doctrinal absolutes, He confirmed the supreme authority of Scripture as God’s Word, He demanded that people follow His teaching and worship (serve) Him as God.  In this sense, Jesus was/is hardly anti-religious.

      Unfortunately, the word “religion” has been used and abused by the irreligious as well as the religious.  For many people today, it is synonymous with self-righteousness, spiritual pride, legalism, and hypocrisy.  It often conjures up images of mindless rituals, heartless dogma, and endless rules.  Today it is in vogue to be anti-religious.

      Biblically speaking, the word “religion” (or the act of being “religious”) is not necessarily bad, anti-God, or anti-Christ.  It simply describes the expressions and practices of those who proclaim to be devout in worship.  But there is a dark-side to religion – a cross-less, Christ-less, Gospel-less – religion that promotes a salvation by works, and not by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.  Such religion cannot save.  Apart from Christ, all religion (and religious activity) is an exercise is self-righteousness (Is.64:6).  To be sure, a person can be very religious – even believing in God – and justly condemned (Jms.2:19).

      Here is a helpful comparison of the differences between Christianity (following Christ as Lord and Savior) and false religion:
False religion is impersonal                                        Christianity is personal
False religion is focused on rules                              Christianity is focused on a relationship
False religion is seeking to earn God’s grace          Christianity is praising God for His grace
False religion is part of your life                                 Christianity is your life
False religion is based on human achievement     Christianity is based on divine accomplishment
False religion is fundamentally external                  Christianity is fundamentally internal
False religion is man trying to reach God                Christianity is God reaching out to man
False religion is a burden                                            Christianity is a blessing
False religion stems from duty to God                     Christianity stems from delight in God
False religion is added to your life                            Christianity consumes your life
False religion is something you do                           Christianity is something you are
False religion is self-exalting                                      Christianity is Christ-exalting
False religion comes from man                                 Christianity comes from God
False religion is temporal                                            Christianity is eternal
False religion regulates your behavior                     Christianity transforms your life
False religion brings condemnation                          Christianity bring salvation

“Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #21):
Exodus 29-32; 2 Samuel 20-24; Psalm 60-62; Job 41-42; Jeremiah 42-46; Luke 5-6; 2 Corinthians 11-13
Recommended Reading:
“The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer

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