Words On The WORD
Monthly Articles Grounded in Biblical Truths

 

 

 
Biblical articles on
many subjects:

Adoption by God
Christians
Church Splits
Creation
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God's Love
Hell
Homosexuality
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Worry
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SUBJECT: Apostasy
CHRISTIANITY VERSUS RELIGION

If we are good, kind, moral, perform good works, attend church, never utter a profane word, we are considered Christians. Unfortunately , these statements are sheer fallacy because vast multitudes miss identify Christianity with religion. Therefore, it is essential to grasp the difference between religion/religious and Christianity.
 
The word “religion” comes from a Greek word meaning “ceremonious in worship” (demonstrative; pious). But what does “ceremonious in worship” mean? It means “worship” full of formality and/or ritual and is based on established beliefs and rules set by each specific religion. Different religions around the world, estimated to be 4,200 strong, have many differing beliefs, and have set rules and protocols such as priestly hierarchies, holy places, festivals, feasts, rites, and a god or gods. Take Hinduism for example. This religion has three main gods, although within this religion there’s estimated to be thirty-three million gods to maintain creation. Other religions have other gods, other rituals, other idols, or other beliefs differing from God’s Holy Word. Truth is, denomination after denomination have either added to or subtracted from God’s Holy Word (Deuteronomy 4:2), just like the Pharisees and scribes did in the days of Jesus (Matthew 23:13).

Now, looking at “Christianity”, the word “Christian” is taken from a Greek word meaning “follower of Christ”= Christian. Thus, “Christianity” became an adjective associated with those following Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a religion, but FAITH firmly cemented in the biblical truths of Jesus’ birth, earthly ministry, death, burial and resurrection. So, what are we? Religious or Christian?
Regrettably, many are attracted to religion(s) because: (l) They can be self-ruling; (2) Make social contacts; (3) Present a “righteous” attitude to those around them; (4) Follow family religious traditions: (5) Follow religious rules and beliefs instead of God and His Word.

Millions of religious people attempt to find the right path to the ONLY God or manmade gods through their own efforts. (Note: Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6; Matthew 7:14) They strive to placate God or gods by idol worship, thus burning incense and candles, and carrying-out mandatory rituals. They offer up works and good deeds, hoping to satisfy what and who they believe in.
 
Truth is…religion has something that is often missing …A LIVING GOD! No one can obtain blessings, peace, or comfort from an idol or a phantom god. No golden, wooden or stone image can answer prayers! Most importantly, no DEAD god can offer eternal salvation! Only the LIVING GOD can and DID! (Isaiah 53:5; John 10:28-30)
Christianity unlike religion is a personal relationship with the LIVING GOD! A relationship that allows us to pray to Him, grow closer and closer to Him through His divinely inspired Word, and to eagerly anticipate an eternity spent with Him! A LIVING GOD who did for us what we could not do for ourselves. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly (that is ALL of us)…But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6,8)

Yes, the word “CHRISTIAN” is horribly misused! Yes, we can present a “godly” persona, but only the Lord sees our heart. “…the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7b)
 
Give serious thought as to what the Lord sees in your heart! Is it religion or are you a follower of Jesus Christ…a born-again Christian?

Nancy Hamilton


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