Religion is a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. Many times, these practices center around the service and worship of God, or another supernatural being.
The Bible warns against false religion and hypocritical religion. Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he emphasized the importance of a relationship with God. The religious elite were the targets of many of Jesus’ criticisms because they continually idolized their religion, while remaining blinded to the fulfillment of the Messiah who was before them. Faith and trust were the key components to discipleship rather than works. His teaching fulfilled the Old Testament law, which concentrated on abiding by God’s commands.
Scripture describes true God-honoring religion (James 1:26-27). As believers in Christ, pure religion takes place when one believes in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God and follows Him in a life of obedience (John 11:25-26; Romans 7:6; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 5:20).
Today, we struggle with striving to make religion our “god” out of our own desire to be in control of how we please God and show others our self-righteousness. The world sees the struggle and is often deterred by the “hypocrites” of Christianity. However, this is exactly what God warns us of throughout Scripture. Perhaps we can learn from some of these lessons today.
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