What Does Jesus Say About Religion

What does the Bible say about religion?

QuestionAnswer Religious beliefs and practices are defined as follows by the Cambridge Dictionary: “believe in and worship of a god or gods, or any system of belief and worship in general.” Several passages in the Bible make reference to religion. Paul recalls his time as a Pharisee, describing how he belonged to “the strictest sect of our religion” during that period (Acts 26:5). In Acts 25:19, Festus refers to Judaism as a “religion.” According to God, real religion consists of the following: “Religion that God our Father regards as pure and flawless is this: to care after orphans and widows in their suffering and to guard oneself from being corrupted by the world” (James 1:27).

One sort of religion is constituted of those “who rely on human tradition and the elemental spiritual powers of this world rather than on Christ” as defined by the World Religions Research Institute (Colossians 2:8).

Throughout history, several religions have worshipped idols and exalted the creature above the Creator.

“He gives it a human beauty and places it in a small shrine,” he says (Isaiah 44:13, NLT).

  • In the words of Jesus, “A misguided heart misleads him; he cannot redeem himself.” The idol worshipper and all who follow false religion are doomed to failure (verse 20).
  • This type of religion is shown by the scribes and Pharisees who appear in the Bible.
  • They also enjoy having the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,” Jesus explained.
  • “These guys will get the most terrible punishment” (Luke 20:46–47).
  • Rather than assisting the widows, as James 1:27 instructs, the Pharisees raped and murdered them.
  • Much of what we assume to be religion—going to church on Sunday, reciting a prayer, lighting a candle, and so on—are human practices that provide the impression of devotion but have nothing to do with the soul of the person who participates in the tradition.
  • Their hearts remain cold, unthankful, uncontrolled, and unrepentant despite the formal rites they participate in.
  • “Get away from me, you nefarious individuals!” (See verse 23.) James 1:27 states that real religion in God’s eyes makes a difference in who we are and what we do in our daily lives.
  • Obedience is the ultimate demonstration of love.
  • This religion of connection is not based on what we do for God; rather, it is centered on what He has done for us through Jesus Christ.
  • The term religion is used in a variety of circumstances, yet there is a distinction between fake religion and genuine religion.

In the same way, there is a distinction between practicing religion to appear devout and practicing religion to establish a closer connection with Christ. Return to: Cults and Religions: Questions and Answers What does the Bible teach about religion and spirituality?

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Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 23 – New International Version

21When the multitudes and his followers gathered, Jesus said to them:2″The professors of the law C) have come to testify against me “>(C)and the Pharisees take up residence in Moses’ place. 3As a result, you must be cautious to follow their instructions. However, do not follow their example because they do not practice what they teach. 4They bind big, burdensome weights together and place them on the shoulders of others, but they are not prepared to move the loads themselves until forced to. D)”>(D) 5″Everything they do is done for the benefit of the public: E) The word “e” refers to the letter “e” in the word “equality.” “More specifically, they make their phylacteries F)”>(F)wide and their tassels on their clothing G)”>(G)long;6 they adore the position of honor at feasts and the most important seats in synagogues; and they are devoted to the Torah.

  1. I)”>(I) 8″However, you are not to be addressed as ‘Rabbi,’ because you have just one Teacher and are all brothers.
  2. Do not address anybody on earth as “father,” for you have only one Father, J) “>(J)and he is now in the presence of the Lord.
  3. Those who are the most powerful among you will serve you.
  4. L)”>(L)

Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees

‘Alas, professors of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!’ says Christ. In front of everyone, you shut the door to the kingdom of heaven. M)”>(M)You shut the entrance to the kingdom of heaven in their faces. You yourself will not enter, and you will not let those who are attempting to enter to do so. N)”>(N) 15 “Woe to you, professors of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” says the Lord. You go over land and sea in order to gain a single convert, O)”>(O), and once you have done so, you make that person twice as much of a child of hell P)”>(P)as you are yourself.

Q)”>(Q)You claim that “if someone swears by the temple, it signifies nothing; but if anyone swears by the temple’s riches, he or she is bound by the oath.” R)”>(R) 17You deafening ignoramuses!

S)”>(S) In addition, you declare, “If someone swears by the altar, it signifies nothing; but anyone who vowes by the gift on the altar, that oath is binding on both parties.” 19You deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deaf Which is more important: the gift itself or the shrine that elevates the gift to a spiritual level?

  • In order to do so, anybody who makes a vow in front of the altar vows to uphold the altar and everything on it.
  • Likewise, everyone who swears by the sky does so in the name of God’s throne and the one who sits on it.
  • You use a tenth of a W)”>(W)of your spices, which include mint, dill, and cumin.
  • I believe you should have concentrated on the latter while forgetting the former.
  • 24 You deafening guides!
  • 25“Pity you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” says the Lord.
  • AA)”>(AA) 26 Pharisee who is deaf!

27 I say to you, professors of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites: Woe to you!

The same is true for you: on the surface, people see you as a person of righteousness, but on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and evil.

You are constructing tombs for the prophets.

31As a result, you bear witness against yourselves, stating that you are sprung from those who murdered the prophets.

AF)”>(AF)33 “You snakes!

AG)”>(AG)How do you plan on avoiding being sentenced to hell?

a)”>a)others you will flog in your synagogues; AI)”>a)others you will crucify.

AK)”>(AK)35And thus will descend upon you all of the righteous blood that has been spilt on the face of the world, beginning with the blood of righteous Abel.

I promise you that all of this will befall this generation.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who murder the prophets and stone those who are sent to you, AO)”>(AO)37″Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you, AP)”>(AP)how often I have wished to bring your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks beneath her wings, (AQ)”>(AQ)and you were not willing to participate.

AR)”>(AR)39For I assure you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'” AS)”>(AR)39For I tell you, you will not see me again unless you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'” (AS)

What the Bible Says About Religion

Isn’t it true that Jesus despised religion? So, what is the purpose of Christianity? Do they not have access to the Bible? Download a PDF version of this tutorial. While I was waiting for my jet to take off, I did something I don’t normally do: I read a book. I started up a discussion with the person sitting next to me. Our conversation moved fast through the fundamentals of life—family, birthplace, eventual destinations—but when I started talking about my career, he became a lot more open. Currently, I work for a nonprofit organization that collaborates with local churches in some of the world’s poorest countries.

  1. When I tell people what I do for a living, they generally react in one of two ways.
  2. wonderful,” they remark, and then immediately quit the conversation, or they begin to share their own beliefs and experiences regarding spirituality and faith with the other participants.
  3. He immediately began telling me everything about his life and family.
  4. As strange as it may seem, my seat-mate isn’t the only one who feels this way.
  5. 1 At the same time, the millennial generation, the internationally connected generation of young people who are now taking center stage, has been found to exhibit little or no interest in religion.
  6. In the words of one millennial, “Religion is just pretty low on my priority list at the moment.” 2 What does this teach us about ourselves?
  7. And this perplexity is not restricted to individuals who believe themselves to be nonreligious in their outlook.
  8. We create blogs about why Christianity is superior than “religion” and publish books on the “end” of religion.
  9. We even produce popular YouTube videos explaining why it is acceptable to despise religion.

3 In spite of the fact that current critiques of religion each have their own set of strengths and faults, there appears to be one aspect that many seem to have overlooked: the legitimacy of the criticism appears to be dependent on what you understand by “religion.” The way we comprehend anything about religion is completely dependent on what we mean by the word “religion.”

Religion in the Bible

A large number of individuals all around the world regard the Bible to be an authoritative source of information on how to live a good and ethical life. So, what does the Bible mean by the term “religion”? What exactly does it say? Although we would prefer to believe otherwise, the solution is not as simple as we may imagine. Religion is neither fully positive nor entirely negative in the Bible, which is a good thing. A religion is, after all, at its most fundamental level a collection of sincerely held personal or institutional ideas or ideals.

In reality, according to that description, every human being on the planet is profoundly religious.

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Consider the book of Romans in the Bible as a starting point for understanding this.

He want to pay them a visit and encourage them in their faith; in fact, he expresses a strong desire to travel to them and preach the gospel to them.

And he begins by delivering some awful news about humankind: From heaven, God’s anger against all godlessness and wickedness in the world is being disclosed to those who oppress the truth through their wickedness, for what can be learned about God is obvious to them because God has made it plain to them.

  1. Because, despite the fact that they were aware of God, they did not glorify him as God or express gratitude to him, and as a result, their reasoning became meaningless and their stupid minds darkened.
  2. As a result, God allowed them to be consumed by the wicked cravings of their souls, resulting in the degradation of their bodies via sexual impurity among themselves.
  3. Amen.
  4. According to him, there are only two types of religions: those that are true and those that are untrue, and there is no in between.
  5. Let’s take a closer look at what you just said.
  6. Because he has disclosed himself in his creation, in “what has been formed,” he has exposed himself.

Experiences such as witnessing the terrifying power and breathtaking beauty of a thunderstorm, standing at the foot of a mountain and then looking across a valley from the peak of that same mountain, feeling the squeeze of a newborn baby’s hand on our finger for the first time, and so on, should cause us to pause and express gratitude to the God who made them all possible.

Despite this, we are aware that this is not always the case.

Worshipping Idols

In Paul’s view, the problem is that, rather of respecting God and giving thanks to him, people began to worship “images created to appear like a mortal human person as well as birds, animals, and reptiles,” instead of worshiping and giving thanks to him. 8 It was customary for them to gaze at all of the marvelous things in creation and say things like, “Zeus created that, Baal created that, or (as is occasionally the case now) “it simply happened,” rather than giving credit where credit was due.

  1. Many individuals, rather of acknowledging the existence of God, seek to alternate explanations.
  2. The Bible expresses strong opposition to this type of religion.
  3. The Ten Commandments begin with a warning from God against worshipping idols: “I am the Lord your God, who took you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
  4. You are not permitted to create an image of anything in the heavens above, on the earth beneath, or in the seas below in your own image or likeness.
  5. Elijah accepted the challenge and issued a challenge to Baal’s false prophets.
  6. If the Lord responded with fire, then they must bow their heads and worship the Lord.
  7. Then they sang the name of Baal all day long, from early until noon.

There was, however, no reaction; no one responded.

At twelve o’clock, Elijah began to tease them.

“Unquestionably, he is a deity!

Could be that he is asleep and needs to be roused.” Then they sliced themselves with swords and spears, as was their tradition, until their blood gushed forth on the ground.

However, there was no reaction, no one replied, no one paid attention to what was being said.

Their religion was a complete waste of time.

However, the tale continues: “Come here to me,” Elijah summoned all of the people, and they did so.

In the end, Elijah had twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had spoken, saying, “Your name shall be Israel,” and he placed them on the altar.

His plan was to arrange the wood, then cut the bull into pieces and lay it on top of the wood.

“Do it again,” he said, and they dutifully followed his instructions.

A river of water flowed down around the altar and even filled the ditch under it.

So that these people will see that you are God and that you are restoring their hearts to their rightful place, Lord, please respond to me immediately.

When the entire congregation witnessed this, they fell to their knees and said, “The Lord—he is God!

Prostitution, or whoring after idols, is a term used to characterize the pursuit of erroneous religious beliefs.

Isaiah says it best: “The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it in the embers; he molds an idol with hammers, forges it with the force of his arm.” He becomes hungry and loses his strength; he does not drink enough water and becomes dizzy.

He fashions it into human form, human form in all its splendor, so that it may be housed in a temple.

He also planted a pine, which grew as a result of the rain.

But he too creates a god and worships it; he also creates an idol and prostrates himself before it.

“Ah!” he exclaims as he heats himself further.

“Save me!” he exclaims as he prays to it. “You are a god to me!”. Such a person subsists on ashes; a misled heart drives him astray; he is powerless to save himself or question, “Isn’t this object in my right hand a fabrication?” 14

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Jesus and Religion

And what about Jesus, you could wonder. Didn’t he profess to despise religion? This is a subject that you may have heard brought up several times in discussions about Jesus’ teachings and Christianity. However, contrary to popular belief, the Bible does not state that Jesus is anti-religion in nature. It teaches us that Jesus is opposed to false religion. The connection between Jesus and the Pharisees, a Jewish group that emphasized the rigorous observance of Jewish Law, is frequently cited by those who argue that Jesus was anti-religious in the extreme.

  1. In comparison to any other group of people, the Pharisees are perhaps harsher and more critical of Jesus than any other group of people—including severe social misfits such as prostitutes, the demon-possessed, and tax collectors.
  2. 18 The secret, however, is contained inside the initial insult: hypocrites.
  3. What Jesus had to say regarding the subject is as follows: “Do not practice what you preach.” But even if they bind big, unwieldy goods together and place them on the shoulders of others, they are unwilling to raise a finger to move the loads themselves.
  4. they enjoy being given the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in synagogues; they enjoy being welcomed with respect in the marketplaces and being addressed as ‘Rabbi’ by others.
  5. You donate a tenth of your spices, which include mint, dill, and cumin.
  6. You should have put in the time to do the latter while not ignoring the former.
  7. The camel is swallowed instead of a gnat being strain out.
  8. You are like to whitewashed tombs, which appear lovely on the surface but are filled with the bones of the dead and everything else that is dirty on the inside.

19 It’s a lot of fun. You can practically sense Jesus’ rage in his voice as he describes what was taking place. It had been taken to an extreme level of hypocrisy by the Pharisees, to the point that it dishonored God and deceived his people. Simply put, the Law had risen to the status of an idol.

Contemporary Idolatry

It’s possible that we don’t all worship blocks of wood, iron, gold, or silver anymore. However, idolatry may be found in plenty not just in the numerous religions of the world (including atheism), but also, and perhaps more crucially, in our own souls. None of us can claim to be completely nonreligious. Our hearts’ desires are constantly in search of something that will benefit us, whether it’s our intelligence, our jobs, or our families’ well-being. We frequently expend our time, effort, and commitment in the quest of worldly possessions or affluence on this planet.

  • As a result, even our attention on what might be a positive thing—our marriage, our children, or even our church—can cross the line into idolatry.
  • In Western civilization, it is possible that our biggest idol is the ability to live without being tied down.
  • Some people put off marriage and having children because they believe they must first complete their “fun” activities.
  • That is the force of idolatry in its purest form.
  • “The heart is the most deceptive of all creatures, and it is beyond healing.” “Who is able to comprehend it?” the prophet Jeremiah inquires.
  • 21 Fortunately, there is more to say about religion than simply pointing out what is flawed in it.
  • And it is in this that we may find a great deal of hope.

True Religion

What true religion is may be summed up in the wise and unvarnished words of Micah: “And what does the Lord want of you?” “To behave justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” is a commandment. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and flawless is this: to care after orphans and widows in their distress and to prevent oneself from being polluted by the world,” says James in the book of James, which is the only place in the Bible where the term “religion” is used: 23 When the gospel takes root in a person’s heart, that person is said to be practicing true religion.

  • Instead than attempting to find fulfillment in gods who do not respond or in the things of this world, Christians find happiness, pleasure, and peace in their connection with God—as well as in God’s assurance of eternal life.
  • 24 And love for God leads to love for one’s fellow human beings.
  • God’s love motivates people to take concrete action.
  • They are willing to give freely of their time, skill, energy, and money to care for individuals in their immediate vicinity who require assistance, whether spiritually or materially.
  • This is the essence of authentic religion, according to some scholars.

The pursuit of a life lived in relationship with God is what we are called to if we place our confidence in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Bible Verses about Religion

2An angel of the LORD came to him in the form of flames of fire from within a bush at that point. Moses saw that, despite the fact that the bush was on fire, it did not burn. 3As a result, Moses said, “I’ll walk over there and check what this weird sight is—why the bush isn’t burning.” God shouted out to Moses from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” when the LORD noticed that he had crossed over to see. “Look, here I am,” Moses announced. 5″Do not approach any closer,” God instructed the children.

  • 6Then he declared, “I am your father’s God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses concealed his face at this point because he was scared to look God in the eyes.
  • ” It has come to my attention that they are crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their plight.
  • 9However, now that I have heard the cries of the Israelites, I have witnessed the manner in which the Egyptians are tormenting them.
  • “I am sending you to Pharaoh in order to free my people, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt.” 11Nevertheless, Moses questioned God, saying, “Who am I, God, that I should go to Pharaoh and save the Israelites from Egypt?” 12.
  • 15God also instructed Moses to tell the Israelites that the LORD, the God of their forefathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—had sent him to them.
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16 “Settle down with the elders of Israel and tell them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and seen what has been done to you in Egypt.17And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—a land flowing 18″The elders of Israel will pay attention to what you have to say.

“After that, you and the other elders must go before the king of Egypt and tell him that the LORD, the God of Israel has met with us.” We are about to go on a three-day trek into the desert in order to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.

Twenty-first, I will extend my hand and hit the Egyptians with all of the miracles that I will do among them, as I have promised.

21 As a result, I will ensure that the Egyptians be favorable toward these group, ensuring that you will not return empty-handed.

22Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any other woman who lives in her house for pieces of silver and gold, as well as clothes, which she will use to dress her sons and daughters. As a result, you will pillage the Egyptians.”

Why I Think Jesus Hates Religion and You Should, Too — Part 2

Those of you who are religious may be thinking, “Wait a minute: you can’t detest religion and love Jesus at the same time.” Jesus IS a religion in his own right. I’d say yes and no to each of these questions. According to the definition of religion, which is “a collection of beliefs concerning the origin, nature, and purpose of the cosmos,” Christianity is, without a doubt, a religion. However, atheism is also included in that definition. However, if by religion we mean “what one must do, or behave like, in order to be in good standing with God,” then true Christianity is not a religion in the traditional sense.

  • Following Him is fundamentally different from practicing any of the other global faiths, as you will see below.
  • All of the other religions are centered on people’s righteousness — what we do and how good we are compared to one another.
  • “This is what you must do in order to be in good standing with God,” all other faiths essentially declare.
  • Jesus declares that it is finished.
  • God is on the lookout for man, and Jesus is that searcher.
  • Jesus is God who is pursuing us despite our best attempts to be decent.
  • Jesus’ disciples are willing to die for their beliefs.

It is not announcing what we must do, but rather announcing what He has already accomplished.

When it comes to Jesus, the only question is whether or not we will follow Him.

He even stated that he had come to complete it.” Not nearly, to be honest.

Jesus wants to make it obvious that he isn’t treating God’s moral code lightly, and he intends to do so.

When something is “fulfilled,” it refers to the point at which it has achieved its conclusion or completeness.

He was carrying out the righteous requirements of it on our behalf, in order to restore us to perfect standing with the Almighty.

Once Alyssa and I are married, we will no longer be considered engaged to be married.

We, on the other hand, are looking forward to something better.

It’s not as if He is attempting to eliminate the law.

It served a certain function.

It’s embarrassing to admit, but one of the purposes of the law was to demonstrate to us that we couldn’t totally adhere to it and that we required a savior.

Even the animal sacrifices required by law for the Israelites served as a demonstration to them that they required a replacement offering.

As a result, Jesus arrived and met all of the prerequisites necessary to appease God.

As a result, rather than the Old Testament Law being our standard or law, Jesus himself became our standard or law.

If you ask me, it was a pretty lovely trade.

In those early images of the Law, Jesus was transformed into the face of the Law rather than the solid tablets Moses is usually bearing.

In my mind, if I ever feel the want to cheat on Alyssa, I could either motivate myself with the law — I won’t cheat on her because I may end up in hell, for example — or I might drive myself with love — I don’t want to cheat on her because she is greater than anything else out there.

Jesus heralded the establishment of a more beautiful covenant, one that is consummated in love rather than in hateful and terrified submission.

It is mind-boggling to realize that all of the shadows and images in the Old Testament were merely representations of him.

God used the sacrifice system to express his belief that sin causes death.

Ultimately, all of the commands and criteria that God put forth for the Israelites were little mini-arrows pointing to the cross of Jesus.

All of it was God’s doing to ensure that His people wouldn’t forget about Jesus.

Aside from that, once a year, the High Priest would enter the area where the sacrifice had been made, where he would sprinkle blood on the mercy seat seven times.

It was God’s way of emphasizing the reality that, as a result of His kindness, Jesus’ blood would be sufficient to satisfy those righteous requirements on our behalf.

That reality, in fact, is what caused early Romans to see the first Christians as atheists in the first place.

As a result, they’d inquire, “Well, who is your priest?” When asked why they did not have a priest on earth, they would respond that Jesus was their ultimate priest in heaven, and hence they did not have a priest on earth.

That is what Jesus was referring to when he declared, “I have not come to abolish them, but to bring them to completion.” That fact transforms someone’s connection with Jesus and his body from one of lifeless, man-made religion to one of dynamic interaction with Jesus and his body.

The Meaning Behind

Back in my dorm room, I was attempting to write down all of my views in order to share them with the kids I was speaking with who had no interest in religion. I realized we needed a common starting point for any discussion on Jesus to get off the ground, so I came up with this: “So you know how much I despise religion. In fact, I literally resent it. Because when Jesus exclaimed, ‘It is finished,’ I know He meant it.” While the poetry did resonate with my peers, I need to clarify that when I say I “hate” religion, I am not suggesting I detest the church.

  1. I’m not saying I dislike groups or institutions.
  2. My primary issue with religion, according to my definition, is that if that is feasible — the idea that we can just be “good enough” for God — then that is spitting in the face of Jesus Christ.
  3. I started to detect this vein in a lot of powerful theologian-type folks, people who are viewed as giants of the church.
  4. W.

In fact, even Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a renowned German theologian, desired to get to the state of “religionless Christianity.” While serving a jail sentence for attempting to destroy the Nazis in 1944, he said, “We are headed towards a truly religionless period; people as they are today simply cannot be religious any longer.” Even those who honestly define themselves as ‘religious’ do not in the least behave up to it, and thus they likely mean something very different by ‘religious.’” Bonhoeffer realized that the term religious had become old, therefore he battled for something altogether new.

  • He genuinely found it beneficial to juxtapose religion with Jesus.
  • However, I’ve discovered that it’s also the most straightforward method to reveal someone who places their faith in their own efforts, which is a significant problem in today’s world.
  • This would take people’s emphasis off of their actions and concentrate it on Jesus.
  • And the fact is that when someone is following, investigating, and striving to comprehend the Son of God, he or she is chasing truth personified, and that Person will eventually come across him or her in their pursuit.
  • Many folks were adamant about not talking about religion, yet they seemed to be comfortable with talking about Jesus.
  • What did he say?
  • My acquaintances were frequently taken aback by the facts.

Creating indifferent perceptions of Jesus occurs when religious debates are broad and take into consideration the opinions of theologians rather than the facts about him are discussed.

It allows His grace to confront people in such a way that they are forced to respond.

“He had strong moral values, but he was not God,” or anything along those lines.

Assuming, as Jesus did, that He was God and that He was able to forgive sins and cure the sick, it is reasonable to conclude that He either performed these things or that He was an evil liar.

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That would not only disqualify Him as a decent moral instructor, but it would also make Him the most damnable person on the face of the planet.

And it is for this reason that, in my talks with others, I shift the emphasis away from what we do for God and toward what He has done for us, forcing us to engage with Him directly.

On the subject of God, we might discuss what the word actually means.

You will have to confront the reality of who He is, what He has done, and what you intend to do in response.

When you seek truth, go with caution, for you could just come upon Him. * Written with permission fromJesus Religion: Why He is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing Better, and Being Good Enoughby Jefferson Bethke, © 2013 Thomas Nelson.

Your Turn

Have you tried to find out the truth about Jesus? What exactly did you learn? Why haven’t you done so yet? He can’t just be a “nice person” all the time! Come and participate in the discussion on our blog! We’d love to hear your opinions on Jesus vs. Religion in the comments section! Devotionals are posted every day.


Sorted in alphabetical order by book title He then admonished them, saying, “Go ye into all the world, and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15-16 (Continue reading.) The Bible says in James 1:26 that if any man among you appears to be religious, yet does not restrain his speech but deceives his own heart, then that man’s religion is in vain. Verse 27 of James 1:27 This is pure religion and unblemished before God and the Father: to visit the fatherless and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unblemished from the rest of humanity.

Matthew 6:1-34 (Continue reading.) In the book of John, verses 50-71, we read, “This is the bread that came down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.” (Continue reading.) The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:6 that God has also equipped us to be effective ministers of the new testament, not of the word but of the spirit, for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

Romans 8:1-18 (Continue reading.) Topics and verses are produced automatically based on user queries.

Some scriptural references and categories are courtesy of Open Bible.info, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.

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The Bible contains all that we need to know about authentic religion. It’s written in the Bible, in 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (New King James Version). ” “.and that you have been familiar with the Holy Scriptures since you were a kid, which have the power to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Everything in the Bible has been given to us by divine inspiration, and it is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God may be fully and totally equipped for every good deed.” The essence of true religion is more than just what you say and do; rather, it is what you believe in your heart.

  1. It’s in the Bible, at Isaiah 29:13 in the New International Version.
  2. It’s written in the Bible, in Colossians 2:8, New King James Version.
  3. It’s written in the Bible, in Matthew 7:16-18 (New King James Version).
  4. Nonetheless, every excellent tree produces nice fruit, and every bad tree produces terrible fruit.
  5. What does a genuine religious experience look like?
  6. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is as follows: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” True religion is the work of grace on the heart, which then manifests itself in deeds of kindness.
  7. Therefore, faith by itself is dead if it does not accompany deeds of righteousness.
  8. True religion leads Christians to obey Jesus out of love for Him, rather than out of a desire to obtain His affection.

It’s in the Bible, at John 14:15 in the New King James Version. “If you love Me, you will obey my commands,” says the Lord. Is it anticipated that followers of Christ will be a part of organized religion? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Jesus kept the Sabbath at the synagogue. It’s in the Bible, Luke 4:16, NKJV. “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.”
  • Jesus appointed the church. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 16:18, NKJV. “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
  • s Jesus commanded His followers to teach others His teachings. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 28:19-20, NKJV. “‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you
  • And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen”

In order for us to be genuinely linked to God, our religion must permeate all of our behaviors, no matter how tiny or large, both within and outside of the church. It’s written in the Bible, in Matthew 23:23 of the New King James Version. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” says the Lord Jesus. Because you give tithes of mint, anise, and cummin, but you have disregarded the more important principles of the law, such as justice, mercy, and belief. “These are the things you should have done instead of leaving the others undone.” The practice of authentic religion, which includes meditation, fasting, and prayer, will enable you to rescue others.

“Isn’t this the fast that I’ve chosen: to loosen the shackles of evil, to untie the heavy loads, to liberate the afflicted, and to see that you break every yoke?” When you see someone who is naked, do you cover him instead of hiding yourself from your own flesh?” “Isn’t it to share your food with the hungry, and to bring the poor who have been put out into your home, and when you see someone who is hungry, do you bring them into your house?” True religion is founded on love, both for God and for one’s fellow man.

  • It’s written in the Bible, in Matthew 22:37-40, New King James Version.
  • This is similar to the second commandment, which states, “You should love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hangs the entirety of the Law and the Prophets.” Is it possible for me to follow religion on my own, without the help of an organization?
  • It’s in the Bible, at 1 Corinthians 12:13 in the New King James Version.
  • This will become increasingly important as we get closer to the Second Coming.

The apostle Paul writes, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not neglecting the assembling of ourselves together, as some do, but exhorting one another, and this is especially true as you see the Day coming.” True religion is distinguished by its devotion to Christ.

“I offer you a new commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you, and that you love one another as I have loved you.

The actual character of religion will be transmitted to everyone on the planet, and the end of the world will be brought about as a result.

It’s in the Bible, in Matthew 24:14 (New King James Version). Afterward, “and this message of the kingdom will be spread throughout the entire globe as a testimony to all the nations,” and then “the end will arrive.” More information may be found at:

20 Inspiring Bible Verses about Faith

1The book of Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen,” says the author of Hebrews 11. The Bible says in 2Hebrews 11:6 that “without faith it is impossible to satisfy God,” because “anyone who comes to God must believe in His existence and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” 3:1-5; Proverbs 3:5-6; “With all your heart, put your trust in the Lord and don’t put your faith in human reasoning or knowledge. Recognize him in all of your endeavors, and he will direct your steps in the right direction.” 4Mark 9:23 (NIV) “‘If you have faith, believe,’ Jesus answered to him.

  1. ‘Have it done for you anyway you like.’ And her daughter was soon restored to health.” Seventeenth Chapter of Matthew 17:20 “Really, I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can command this mountain to move from one place to another.
  2. Nothing will be too difficult for you to do.” 8Matthew 21:22 “And whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will get,” says the Lord.
  3. The Bible says in James 1:6 that “when you ask, you must believe and not question,” for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, tossed and driven by the wind.
  4. This is the victory that has triumphed over the entire world, including our faith.” “But you, man of God, escape from all of this and seek righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness,” says the Bible’s 131 Timothy 6:11.

“Because, in the gospel, God’s righteousness is revealed—a righteousness that is based on faith from the very beginning to the the end, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’ 16John 7:38 (NIV) “Whoever believes in me will have rivers of live water flowing from inside them, just as the Scriptures have predicted.” 10:11 (Romans 10:11) “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame, according to the Bible.

Timothy 6:12 (II Timothy 6:12) “Fight the good fight of faith with all of your might.

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