Friday, January 10, 2014

Why You Can't Say No To Religion

Why, you ask?  Because the Bible says to put your religion into practice.  So, for that very reason, as a follower of God, His children must follow the teachings in His Word.  And, His Word says that you can't say no to religion....although it is being taught in many places all over the world.  Religion simply means our external worship to God.  When you say no to religion, you're saying no to the external worshipping of your Heavenly Father.  But a child of God just can't keep it all to herself/himself! She/He must let her/his light shine!   

(Check out Blue Letter Bible to look up the original meanings of words. This is the link:  http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2356&t=KJV

What those who debunk religion may be opposed to the church organized to have worship together.  It's just a ritual to them, maybe.  Of course, that's possible.  We can make it a "going through the motions kind of thing", if we're not careful. We also have to be careful that we don't become selfish in our thinking, and believe that worship to God is all about how "I" feel and what "I" get out of it, instead of concentrating on worshipping the Father!  Yes, we can encourage one another when we meet together, but the absolute primary goal is glorify God, not self!

Others may dismiss worship as meaning not be a Pharisee, as Paul was before he was blinded by the light - the BRIGHT light! Paul was an "all rules, no grace" man of God until He was struck with the truth - that Jesus did away with all of that.  Obedience is still in effect, but not so that one can just check of a "do to" list and call it good.  We aren't to be like the Pharisees, legalistic in our thinking.   
    “The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest sect of our religion, living as a Pharisee.  Acts 26:40-5
Paul (then named Saul) learned the truth. He realized he had been in error, living as a Pharisee and as a persecutor of Christians and Jesus, himself.  The Lord told him what to do to restore his eyesight.  Immediately after, he was baptized.  Not only was Paul's name changed, but his heart was changed!

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Acts 9:17-19

So, God doesn't want us to have that Pharisaical, rules-only, strictest religion.  What does He want us to have?  He tells us in the scriptures below:

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 
1 Timothy 5:1-4 NIV

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 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.     James 1:26-27

These scriptures say that we should take care of your own families....repay our parents and grandparents for all they have done for us.  It pleases God.  And we should keep a tight rein on our tongues.....and care for orphans and widows....and keep ourselves polluted by the world.  WOW!  That's quite a list, isn't it???!

Different Bible translations have a few more "religion" references in them.  I think Colossians 2 pretty much sums up the whole idea that Paul learned and that God wants us to know about His Son and Our Savior.  It's a life of freedom in Christ, but also striving to be obedient.  It's not a legalistic obedience, but an obedience because of our love for God for what Jesus has done.  

Please take the time to read Colossians 2 in the link below (Bible Gateway, NKJV).  

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Yes, and we also read in Acts that the church got organized. It's what the Holy Spirit led them to do. I think a lot of people just can't get over the fact that the church is a place for sinners!

 
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