“Religion vs Relationship.” Jesus Christ longs for you and I to have a relationship with Him, not a religion. Jesus came to save us, therefore, having a relationship, not a religion. The Israelites were looking for a King to save them from the Romans and thought Jesus came to fulfill this. However, Jesus only wanted people to “follow” him into a relationship with him, not be their “King”!
Born again followers of Jesus Christ should NOT be seeking to “convert” people to a religion. Our calling as Jesus’ disciples is to introduce Jesus Christ to the lost, broken, and hurting people of this world by sharing the “gospel”, not a “religion” simply stated our job is to introduce others to JESUS, not Christianity…There’s a huge difference!
Religion vs Relationship Definition’s
In the new testament, the disciples of Jesus Christ identified themselves as Jesus’ followers rather than identifying themselves as a religion. To them Jesus was “the way” “the truth” and “the life” and his disciples were devoted to following “the way of Jesus”. Simply stated they didn’t ask people to become a part of a “religion” they provided an opportunity for others to meet Jesus, therefore, coming into a relationship.
What is the definition of Religion?
According to Merrian-Webster Definition of Religion:
The belief in a God or in a group of Gods
- The organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a God or a group of Gods.
- An interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group.
What is the definition of a Relationship?
Completely trusting in God to get us through each day and believing that He is our sustainer is the way to have a relationship with Him. Although we may not see changes immediately, we will begin to see them over time, and all the truths will become clear.
Can you see the obvious difference between religion vs relationship already?
Sadly in today’s time, many believe just because they attend church this automatically means they have a relationship with Jesus Christ. This being said however their lifestyle contradicts what God’s word says. Now I am by no means perfect nor am I judging anyone but it’s clear to see there is no evidence of a changed heart.
Define your personal relationship
When you ask someone if he or she, has a personal relationship with God one of the most common responses you’ll hear is, “Of course I’m a Christian. I go to church, don’t I?“
I don’t mean to sound harsh, but just because you attend Church on Wednesdays and Sundays, does NOT automatically, make you a follower of Jesus Christ.
Misguided examples on Religion vs Relationship in Christian Living
- Read your Bible
- Attend Church
- Pray every day
- Help those in need
- Serve in your community
- Follow your Church Doctrines
- Do excessive good deeds
This is Religion-based not a Personal Relationship
- Where we follow rules, hoping to be living right, and doing the right thing.
- Serving God out of duty because we think we have to.
First and foremost we surrender our heart and life to Jesus Christ and our sanctification deepens as we walk with HIM daily. Secondly, we serve Christ not because we think we HAVE to out of obligation or “rules” but because we WANT to and do ALL things according to HIS will for us.
Why it’s important to let others see Jesus in You
Have you been asked:
- What is so different about you?
- How can you ALWAYS have a smile on your face, with all you go through?
- You have a presence about you that draws me, can you explain what it is?
- I’d like for you to share with me what I must do to receive it?
In other words, if you have a “personal” relationship with Jesus Christ not “religion” people will notice the difference. It’s a true inward “heart change” not just outward change. Broken people are used in helping other broken people.
When people can witness a true authentic change in someone It reaches the broken place within their life, therefore, giving them hope that can ONLY be found in Jesus Christ. See beloved, what’s missing in this broken world, is that people think Jesus is a dictator/religion NOT realizing the difference as religion vs relationship. There’s a huge difference!
What people are searching for and need is a Relationship
Our good works alone cannot save us. If we could be saved by good works alone then Jesus Christ died for nothing! You must have a Relationship, not Religion.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
How to receive a relationship, not religion
Good intentions are NOT enough. If you want to be a BORN AGAIN, a follower of God, you must realize you are a sinner.
Jesus …Christ finished the work of salvation on the cross. We can be saved ONLY by trusting His finished work on the Cross not rituals or putting on a show such as the Sadducees and Pharisees did…that is religion.
You can pray, believe in miracles, hear sermons, and even believe in its truth, and not be saved. not only this but you can live what “THE WORLD VIEWS,” as a good person, and believe in your heart you’ll make it to Heaven, but that isn’t Biblical beloved.
But God shows his love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8).
And there is salvation in NO ONE else, for there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven, given among men, by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Titus 3:5
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1
To be a born-again follower of Jesus Christ you MUST:
- Repent: Means to “change” or to “turn”
- Remorse: More than just sorry, for your sins
Many people feel remorse for their sin, but never truly repent. Remorse is being sorry repentance is being sorry enough to stop, and turn away from. Receive Jesus in your heart to be saved and have a relationship with him.
But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Acts 16:31
Sadly, many people who claim to have a relationship with God, do NOT, which is considered to have Religion…NOT a relationship!
I am by no means bashing ANY Denomination, search your Heart, read Scriptures for yourself. Don’t take MY WORD for anything. Take GOD AT HIS WORD!! THE HOLY BIBLE!
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? In thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7: 21-23
For whosoever shall call, upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. Romans 10:13
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 1 John 4:15
Friends, the Joy you see in me, comes from the salvation I have in Jesus Christ. In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. Titus 1:2
But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:31
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13
In Conclusion on Religion vs Relationship in Christian Living.
I sincerely hope you can now tell the differences between Religion vs Relationship with Jesus Christ. Friends, if you are unsure where you will spend Eternity, find a Minister, Pastor, Lifegroup or Small Group Leader, or Elder, to talk to you because your eternity is at stake so place your hope in Christ today.
Search your heart and soul, to know if God dwells within you and is the ruler of your heart and not just going through the motions of religion. If I can help you in some way, I will be more than happy, to try and answer your questions. If I don’t have an answer I can point you to someone who will.
Can I encourage you to please watch the video below because it goes more in detail on this topic and he states the differences perfectly?