Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Our Worthy Religion

A statement analysis: It has been said that “Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship.”
I believe it is both.

Christianity is a relationship with our triune God, and it is a religion of beliefs and practices for all of life that flow from this relationship.

Christianity is a relationship with God, the Father, our Maker and Creator. We are to humble ourselves before His sovereign power, and obey everything He has commanded in His Word. We are to fear Him and revere Him. We are to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Christianity is a relationship with Christ, the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer. We are to rejoice in the work of Christ, whose sinless life and death on the cross satisfies the justice of God, and reconciles us to God. We are to place our trust in Christ alone to save us. We are to submit our lives to Him. He is our Lord.

Christianity is a relationship with the Holy Spirit, the third person in the trinity of God, who exalts Christ to the glory of God the Father. We are to yield to His sanctifying guidance. We are to pray in His power. We are to be filled and sanctified by His presence, which leads us to be more like Christ.

Christianity is a relationship with our neighbor. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves and give unselfish attention to their needs. The Command of Christ to love one another is expressed in the way we build each other up in the church and proclaim the gospel to the world.

Christianity is clearly a relationship. But it is also a religion, which can be defined as the practice of our faith, or the working out of our right relationship to God.

The Bible says that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (Jas 1:27)”

It says that God chose us before the very foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before Him, that He predestined us to be adopted into His kingdom in Christ (Eph 1:4,5). It says that we are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He prepared beforehand “ (Eph 2:10).

Christianity is a religion, in which we are saved by grace, and not by our good works. But it is a religion of faith that produces good works. The Bible says that “faith without works is dead”(Jas 2:17). Those who trust in Christ will most certainly bear the good fruit of their faith. Jesus said that “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:8).

In conclusion, I believe Christianity is a relationship that produces a worthy religion. And this religion is worth proclaiming and worth defending.

As we walk by faith in the power of the Spirit, let us be a light to the world and pierce the darkness with the gospel.

To the glory of God