When you read the words, True Religion, what did you think of?
Or the Catholic’s?
What constitutes a “True Religion”?
I am contrasting Religion with Relationship.
One can be religious about many things.
Religious means with regularity.
Anything you do religiously is something you do with utmost regularity.
Like taking your supplements, or eating healthy, or brushing your teeth.
For me, by definition, a great religion would be one that has prescribed duties to be performed in order to be in good standing.
Judaism is a good religion.
For it has what one must do to be in good standing with the God of creation.
Then the God of creation changed the rules, somewhat anyway.
He came to earth to explain what He, as creator, wants from His creation.
He wants something so simple that very few people ever do it.
Something simple yet total.
He wants a loving relationship with His creation.
A one on one.
He will provide, protect and empower.
Those willing to accept His offer are to receive and respond with their very lives in service to Him and others.
To live and give generously to those in need.
And doing so shows their love for the creator, their dedication to the creator plus they build credits in heaven.
He calls it, laying up treasures in heaven.
It is using their very existence to participate in the Kingdom of Heaven now and forever.
It is not following the rules, yet it fulfills all the rules God gave his people through the years.
It is following the God of love into a loving relationship with all of creation.
It is loving truth in order to live a moral life.
Christian morality is not relative, it is God and Scripture based.
It is calling sin, sin and asking for redemption, mercy and forgiveness that we might be one with God once again.
It is reinstating conviction of sin again that humanity can be redeemed.
It is not surrendering to the noisy crowd dictating what is right and what is wrong, but standing firm in the righteousness of God.
It is being brave enough to stand with and for God no matter what the cost.
The day has come for true believers to step out of the crowd of cowards and forge a path guided by divine wisdom, with supernatural strategies, offering the world a salvation that actually does conquer a multitude of sin.
We are called by God and by society to love everyone but each has a very different result.
When Jesus tells the women caught in adultery that he does not condemn her, he then tells her to go and sin no more.
His forgiveness leads to redemption and a new way of life.
When God convicts he actually empowers people to go and sin no more.
Calling sin, sin leads to life it is not bigotry and damnation.
Knowing the difference between right and wrong is wisdom.
Wisdom that leads to life, not death.
Normalizing sin takes the power of confession and redemption from the conviction of being a sinner.
And there is no redemption or life.
Renaming sin makes it less offensive and tolerable leading to death.
Listen to these words: “Forming a new moral code out of misguided feelings or sinful temptations pacifies society’s conscience and creates a ‘normal’ out of behavior that would otherwise be seen as overtly wrong”.
Only when we compare ourselves to God’s moral code can we see who we are.
Sinners lost in sin and bound for death.
Renaming sin is a bottomless moral cesspool that leads to death.
It is never life giving.
In the life of a Christian common is never normal.
God holds believers to his higher standard.
Not recognizing and calling sin, sin is unsanctified mercy.
Mercy that leads to death not redeemed mercy that leads to life.
Everyone deserves mercy but mercy means that you did not get what you deserved.
With God it is His redemption that allows Him to have mercy on us in order to lead us back into relationship with the Loving God of Creation.
In order to obtain mercy one must know that the action is sin.
If one says that adultery is right, then one can not ask for mercy because mercy is only for people who are wrong.
So offering mercy without the confession of something being wrong is not God’s mercy, rather it is unsanctified mercy and can never lead to life.
Unsanctified mercy pretends things are okay when they are in fact not.
This mercy cannot redeem and sanctify a person before God.
Such mercy is offered when God’s mercy cannot be offered and it turns a blind eye to sin for the sake of protecting the sinner’s feelings, thusly never leading to redemption or life.
Human beings seem to think that God adjusts to us when in fact we must adjust to God and His standard.
For God, in His love for us, has plans to prosper us, not harm us.
He only wants to lead us to life and steer us from death.
Just like in the garden, we think the forbidden fruit is pleasing to the eye and by eating of it we can experience more of life when actually we die to our once intimate relationship with the Loving and Creating God.
God came to earth in the form of His Son to show us how to live for Him and to redeem us from sin.
Jesus was God on earth demonstrating how to live and then paying the price for our sin that we might be in an intimate relationship with the Godhead once again.
Jesus did not relate to sinners by sinning right along with them.
He did not conform to sinners so that He could relate and ultimately convince them of His Truth.
His compassion with the woman whom He told to “go and sin no more” proves that Jesus, the spotless lamb of God, didn’t agree with sin in hopes to convince, rather He listened to the heart and revealed who the sinner truly was, God’s child.
And, as such, God would forgive and redeem her if she would believe and sin no more.
Remember that Jesus was faced with every temptation yet He never sinned.
Therefore temptation is not a sin.
In fact, temptation is not only common, it is normal.
Temptation is to our soul what exercise is to our bodies.
Resisting temptation is the exercising of faith.
It is often painful at first, but your inner person is growing, becoming nobler, and maturing in character.
To be able to go and sin no more or to resist temptation is to have the revelation of how God identifies us.
Jesus knew who He was, therefore He was able to love the sinner without conforming to sin and resist temptation when it was present to Him.
Jesus told his followers that the only way to be God’s person was to consume Him and then in Him we could be God’s people.
Have you consumed enough of Jesus to be able to be God’s person?
Today, in the midst of temptation?
If so then you have a wonderful end of life experience coming to you.
To be ushered into His Kingdom to live with Him there forever!
Yes, amazingly yes, it is worth the effort.
But the power for the effort is found only in God, though Jesus the Son channeled to you through the Holy Spirit, the presence of God living in you!!
There is a Christian song being played today which says, live life.
And that life is found in and through the God of the living.
Admit, repent, be redeemed and live for God, now and forever.