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Archive for July, 2022

Consider these two Bible verses:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”(Ephesians 2:8-9)

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)

Now *replace the word ‘works‘ with the word ‘religion‘. Ephesians 2:8-9 now reads, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of RELIGION, lest any man should boast.”  Swapping our those words helps us to understand that religion, the very God-given components of our faith (i.e., going to church, worship, praying, reading your Bible, getting baptized, fellowshipping with other believers, taking Communion, obeying the moral teachings of Jesus Christ and/or those prescribed in the Bible, etc.) can NOT save you.

Why can’t religion save you?

Because the Christian religion (the aforementioned elements of our faith) is NOT for unbelievers – it’s for believers: those who believe and follow Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior, having confessed and repented from their sinful behavior and having turned to obey and serve Him.

Now consider the James 2:26b passage, “So faith without RELIGION is dead, coupling it with the religious components that comprise our faith. Are you a saved, born-again believer, but not going to church, not worshipping, not praying, not reading your Bible, not getting baptized, not fellowshipping with other believers, not taking Communion, and not obeying, following and submitting to the moral teachings of Jesus Christ and/or those prescribed in the Bible?

If you’re not, may I suggest that your faith is dead. These are some of the very things believers should be doing in order to know Jesus better, discern His will, and receive His help. This is the reason God has breathed life into the Christian religion as prescribed in His Word, the Bible. Frankly, there is no relationship with Jesus without these religious components. I’m not saying you’re not saved, although you might want to reevaluate your spiritual position in Christ.

For these reasons, believers need to stop pronouncing religion as bad, regardless if they may have had bad experiences with man-made doctrines as a kid or new believer, or they were raised in one of a million other false religions, or they experienced or witnessed hypocrisy within the Christian church. Know now that there is only one, true religion and it is Christianity. It’s God-given and found within the pages of God’s word, the Bible, it’s not for the unsaved, it’s for you the believer, and it is an essential treasure chest of tools that equip us to know and serve Jesus better.

*DISCLAIMER: I am not adding to or subtracting from the word of God, nor am I saying that ‘works’ and ‘religion’ are synonymous, despite similarities. I am however suggesting that they are complementary in that neither one saves a person, but should be evident in the saved-person’s life. I also believe that if a Christian insists on bad-mouthing the “R word without the context it is due, he or she could very well cause someone to stumble in their faith. 

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