For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been listening to sermons from Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. My friend Rebecca told me about these, and I’ve since recommended them to several friends. Mars Hill is a Non-denominational Christian church that relies on scripture as its highest authority. (Very similar to PC3). I enjoy his sermons because he is very straight-forward, he makes his sermons culturally relevant—but does NOT stray from the Bible, and he’s funny!! Very funny. Anyway, I’ve been listening to a series on the book of Ruth. Today, he talked about the differences between Religion and Redemption.
Religion: Teaches a false gospel. “If I obey, God will love me”
Redemption: Teaches the real gospel. God does love me. God has loved me. While we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us.
Religion: There are two kinds of people. Good people (who are like me) and Bad people (who are not like me)
Redemption: There are two kinds of people. Repentant and Unrepentant.
Religion: Cares about your birth. What kind of family were you born into? Were you raised in a religious home? What do you know? Can you quote chapter and verse?
Redemption: Cares about your new birth through Jesus. You have a new life, a new start with God as your father and the Church as your family
Religion: It’s all about what you do or don’t do. It’s focused on rules-almost like a checklist
Redemption: It’s not about what you do or don’t do. It’s about what Jesus has DONE. On the cross, Jesus said it is finished.
Religion: Can only lead to Pride or Despair (never Joy or Humility). If you obey the “rules”, you become arrogant and prideful. Pride is what got satan thrown out of heaven. If you’re honest and realize you can’t possibly follow all the rules, it leads to despair and guilt.
Redemption: Leads to Joy and Humility. Joy because you realize that God loves me, God blesses me, and there is Hope for tomorrow. Humility because you realize you could never do this on your own, Jesus has saved you.
I know this is long. But I always feel the need to clarify when people ask what Religion I am, or what Religion I believe in. I don’t want to be “religious”!!! I want the Redemption of Jesus Christ. There are days when I find myself struggling with this concept. If I’ve done particularly well that week with my devotions, or being a “good” person (according to the world), I catch myself getting prideful. But I have to constantly remember that no matter what I do, no matter what happens, because I have placed my trust in Jesus Christ, I have been redeemed!!! Thank God that He loved us enough to save us.
8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! 10For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation..