Thursday, September 18, 2008

Religion vs. Relationship

1. Religion is a series of man-made procedures that satisfies the heart into thinking that growth is taking place. A relationship with Jesus encourages growth as you learn more about Him and strive to emulate Him.

2. Religion is an opportunity to stifle the Holy Spirit into nothing more than a dance or a palm raised in the air because it’s what others do around you. A relationship with Jesus helps you to understand the Holy Spirit is power….power Jesus used to cast out demons, heal people, and defeat death. Amazingly that very relationship enables the power to reside in us.

3. How many times have you been told that God is a mystery when you have questions about the weather, about tragedies, about why the birds always seem to know when to fly south? Religion sees God as a mystery. A relationship with Jesus according to 1 Corinthians 2:10….but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

4. In fact, Religion will often beg you to accept things without question. There’s no reason to search for the truth because we have steps to follow and works to complete. A relationship with Jesus tell us that He is the way the truth and the light. Therefore by growing our relationship with Jesus our questions will be answered.

5. Religion reveres ministers, pastors, elders, and the people mentioned in the Bible. A relationship with Jesus teaches that all men are the same….we are all ministers and responsible for advancing His kingdom.

6. Religion states Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are separate. A relationship with Jesus shows us that Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are three different manifestations of the same God.

7. Religion will leave you asking questions, wishing you could change things, and will leave you very unfulfilled. A relationship with Jesus with help you find ways to change things, solutions to problems, and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

8. Religion encourages listening to a sermon over studying the Bible. A relationship with Jesus encourages you to study on your own and with others.

9. Religion prefers hope over expecting God will bless you. A relationship with Jesus begs you to expect great things including blessings and power.

10. Religion states money makes people evil. A relationship with Jesus shows us that He wants us to live more abundantly and it’s how the money is used that makes all the difference.

11. Religion explains that people like Moses, David, and Solomon were very special people and that we would find it hard to emulate them. A relationship with Jesus helps to explain all of the people set aside in the Bible were annointed by the Holy Spirit. Believers have the Holy Spirit within them. There is nothing that can hold us back.

12. Religion shows Satan as powerful foe. A relationship with Jesus provides us with the power of the Holy Spirit. Through that power Satan can be defeated just as Jesus defeated him.

13. Religion teaching provides information about God. A relationship with Jesus enables us to actually know God.

Look for a few more comparisons between religion and relationship later….

Many bloggers have published their own personal list of 13 things. You can see the complete list of bloggers here.


Journeywomant said...

While I am not a Christian, I too struggle between the Jewish Religion and our own personal relationship with Gd. This was a fantastic post.

Denise Patrick said...

Great post. I may use some of your comments during my next Youth Meeting.

elementary historyteacher said...

Journeywoman, I understand. I don't think it matters regarding the Jesus belief.....when it comes to our faith we all suffer from the religion verses relationship tug-of-war.

Denise, feel free to use anything you wish. I have never had the desire to work with teens, however, having teens in my own home I certainly appreciate all youth workers. :)

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

That is a great list! I love this post! Thanks for sharing.
Much love,

elementary historyteacher said...

Hi Angela. I'm glad you stopped by. Thanks for the comment.

Rachel said...

Hi, I'm Bryan from Russellville, AR. I just going to let you know that I'm using this material for teaching Sunday school! God Bless You! This is an awesome Post.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with elementary history teacher's take on the "I dont think it matters regarding the Jesus belief..". It most definitely does in my opinion. Because the only way to reach God is through his son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, one must believe and accept the gift of salvation God gave us through his son. John 3:16

EDS_Ellen said...

I plan to use your list tonight for my teen bible study... thanks for posting this good information... I did a search for "religion versus relationship," as that was what the Holy Spirit put on my heart for tonight's lesson. Thank you!


This is a great post, Why do I feel that when Im asked my religion If I dont say I have one people think Im Atheist? It feels like if i dont answer christian im denying christ. Has society given he this sence of denying christ if I dont claim a religion?

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