The differences between faith and religion are significant. Very simply put, religion is doing things on the outside to make the flesh look good. True faith is on the inside and springs from the relationship we have with our Lord Jesus Christ. Here are 15 differences between religion and faith:
Religion...Show up at church weekly
Faith...Spend time with the Lord at every opportunity
Religion...Wear nice clothes to impress everyone
Faith...Give your nice clothes to someone who wears rags
Religion...Memorize the long prayers uttered every week
Faith...Always speak from the heart to the heart of the Master
Religion...Criticize and condemn those who are unemployed or on public assistance
Faith...Reach out to help those in need by sharing of one's abundance
Religion...Have no feelings toward the plight of anyone but your immediate family
Faith...Have the bowels of compassion move every time genuine need presents itself
Religion...Condemn anyone who is not perfect like you
Faith...Â€ÂœThere but for the grace of God am I
Religion...Proudly give all the loose change in your pocket while telling everyone about it
Faith...Give every last penny not absolutely needed and no one knows anything about it
Religion...Demand recognition for every good thing done or threaten to never give again
Faith...Demand no recognition for any good thing done
Religion...Seek to be first in everything so as to receive accolades for being so benevolent
Faith...Be content to be last, but be the best
Religion...Say all the right things in public but live none of them
Faith...Say very little but let your life do the speaking
Religion...Scold others for every little thing they do wrong but find good excuses for doing the same
Faith...Forgive others for errors in judgment and lack of faith
Religion...Demand repayment with interest for every debt or face serious consequences
Faith...Forgive debt as well as debtors
Religion...Freely receive so as to have more and more to brag about
Faith...Freely give so as to open the doors to receive more so as to give more
Religion...Seek to bring glory to self and prove what a good person you are
Faith...Seek to bring glory to God while acknowledging you are a sinner saved by grace
Religion...accentuate the rituals and traditions while degrading spontaneity and open worship
Faith...Despise rituals and traditions while embracing the freedom to worship from the heart
I would pray that we strive to live in and walk in the faith which is in Christ which is in us. I would pray that the only religion we seek is the true religion James speaks of which deals with charity. I would pray that in all things we look to Christ alone and strive to become more like Him in every way, every day.
God did not so love the world that He gave His only Son to start a new religion. Christ did not give His life so that a new religion could be named after Him. God so loved that He gave and Christ so loved that He gave so that we could live in the glory and majesty of God in Christ in us, the hope of eternal glory. That is much better than religion any day of the week.
I can't help but say that I go to church weekly because I love and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,
For me, my attendance in church adds immeasurably to my faith from the sermons preached from the pulpit and Bible study discussions in small groups and Christian education, gives me avenues to live out my faith in the community of believers and non-believers - just following the Lord's example of going to the temple, ministering in public and private to those who needed Him.
I think this blog is a good reminder that we must not simply go through the motions. We must examine our motivation. Are we attending church for the reasons PTL mentions or are we there because it is the thing to do and it makes our conscience feel better?
It is so easy to develop habits and good ones are certainly not a bad thing however God does not want us to do these things out of force of habit. God wants us to worship, give, help, pray, etc. out of love. There is a difference and at the moment I am remembering that not every sacrifice given is acceptable to the Lord.
May all that we say and do be sweet-smelling to God!
Please, lest anyone get the wrong idea; I am not equating church with religion. Religion is just that--religion and may or may not involve organized worship facilities, denominations or belief systems. Religion is the practice of rituals which all deal with the outside of a person. The true Christian faith deals with the inside.