Friday, October 12, 2012

Religion Vs. Relationship To Christ

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.---Romans 8:1 and following

It all comes down to this. When I was young I thought all religions the same. As a teen I learned that’s not so. I became a Christian. With all the baggage I still carried I thought Christianity was a bunch of rules to be followed. I think that’s why I struggled so much in my early walk. I was trying to follow a bunch of rules. When I didn’t know the rules I made them up. In some ways early on my Christianity was another religion.

Somewhere along the line I started having a relationship with Christ. I started talking to Him. The parts of the Bible I had memorized leapt out at me at opportune, and inopportune, times. In the midst of all that I came also to understand that we are to enjoy God. Enjoying a bunch of rules is tough. Enjoying relationship with a person is much easier.

Strict adherence to the rules didn’t make life easier. Having someone walk alongside me does. It helps to talk---and listen. Knowing that the person walking alongside is also in control helps. Yes Christ is king of all. Still He has shed His blood to make relationship possible.

Being real in relationship with God eases the struggle. I want to do the right thing because I don’t want a disconnect in the relationship. I can persevere because in relationship those that love us are for us. I can fail because Christ paid for my failure already. When I break the rules I talk it out. When I keep breaking the rules He calls me out. It is the freedom of relationship in Christ that sets me free.

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