February 4, 2018
Faith and Religion
It’s true that Christianity is a religion. But it’s not true that it’s just like all other religions. In some very substantive, powerful ways, faith in Christ is anti-religion. While so much of religion today is dead ritual, empty intellectual assent and life-taking legalism, the faith that Christ modeled and taught features a dynamic relationship with the God of the universe. He preached a faith that seeks to transforms our hearts and minds by offering us an opportunity to experience an unending well of grace and forgiveness.
If that is not your experience of Christianity, or if you’ve never had that and want it, it is time to change your approach. You can start by saying ‘yes, I want this type of personal relationship’ to the God who has been chasing you from the day you were born. Begin a life-changing relationship with the One who can deliver on His promises and help you to find meaning, purpose, belonging and fulfillment.
Questions for discussion:
· What do you think the main point of Matt’s message was?
· How do you think those outside the church would define religion? How is that different from how you define it?
· What does the life/death and teachings of Jesus teach us about what “true religion” is supposed to look like?
· What can we do to help people see the “true religion” that Jesus modeled?
Do something about it:
Consider how scripture/Jesus would define “true religion.” Write it down in a concise sentence or short, easy to remember, paragraph. Adopt it as your mission statement, using it to help you to make decisions, guide your interactions with others, and define what is really important. Let yourself become a living advertisement for what “true religion” is really all about.
John 14, 15:1-11; Matthew 5:16; 7:12; 9:10-13; 22:36-40; James 1:27; 2:12-14; Philippians 4:9;1 Peter 2:9, 3:15