Slavery of Religion

 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:  “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?  These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.  Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Col. 2:20-23

Religion is man’s attempt to appease God. The practice and mindset is typically built around the premise that you are separate from God. If you want God’s favor, you have to do something to manipulate God your way. Contrast to real Christianity, where you are already reconciled to God. Not because of what you do, but what the Triune God has already done.

Real Christianity is an abiding relationship with the living God. A relationship built upon the finish work of Jesus Christ. Whereas religion typically is man’s idea of how one must perform to merit God’s blessings.

Throughout history, in the name of religion, mankind has done harmful acts one-to-another in the name of their idol god. From sacrificing babies at the altar to performing immoral sexual acts, all in the name of their god. In current times, we may have become more civilized, yet we still have the tenancy to practice religion rather than build an intimate relationship with the ONE.

We may burn candles, flog ourselves, sacrifice money, refrain from marriage, establish higher-than-God-standards of righteousness, ordain certain days more holier than others, deny modern conveniences, cloth ourselves in special outfits, refrain from eating certain foods, practice special or secret rituals, refrain from listening to certain music, place higher importance on “spiritual” occupations, vote for specific political parties, and the list goes on and on and on.

When the act becomes more important than the heart of a matter, and when the task has greater priority than the relationship, be careful. You may be emphasizing the religion rather than enjoying a relationship with the living Lord.

Many times the mechanics of faith are the same. The difficult part to identify is the heart of relationship with our heavenly Father. Only He knows for sure. So why not ask your Father-Son-Spirit how you can improve your relationship with Him? And yes, for those who value religion, don’t worry –  God also works through religion. You will also find Him in business, government, education, entertainment, sports, medicine, and every other institutional field. For wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor.3:17).

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Jesus Christ Chose You

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— Col. 1:22 ESV.

Before you were ever born, you were selected by Jesus Christ. Before you even heard the name of Jesus Christ, you were forgiven. And before you even acknowledged his existence, you were already included in the Triune circle.

The Incarnation teaches us that God chose himself before the foundation of the world as the sacrifice for humanity’s entrance into the heavenly. Entering the world in human form, He (Jesus) clothed himself with the darkness of the world. All sin, deception, anxiety, pride, shame, and blindness was captured within his humanness. God joined humanity and humanity joined God in this act of divine sacrifice.

The result is Jesus Christ lived and died a vicarious life. He represented you and I as our substitute to defeat Satan and restore humanity’s relationship with our Heavenly Father. In the process, you have been forgiven because of His sacrificial life & death. He did it for you and I.

Not only forgiven, but His resurrection and ascension into heaven paved the way for you and I into a new creation. He is the first of a new humanity.  The physical and spiritual merged together.

Though we are already included in the circle of life with the Triune God, many are still ignorant or in rebellion against him. We haven’t accepted the reality of Who He IS and our position with Him. There lies our chose. Whether or not we want to share life with him or not.

The Bible uses several examples to highlight this point. One is adoption. You, the child, have been adopted by the parent (God). Your decision isn’t to select the parent for adoption but whether or not you will become fully engaged into the family culture. The adoption has already occurred. You can either rebel against your new parent or accept the reality that you have a new guardian who truly cares for you. A new home with permanency.

Another example is marriage. In the first century Biblical culture, the woman didn’t decide who she was going to marry. The selection process was negotiated by the parent and/or groom. As a newly engaged bride, your choice was whether or not you will become fully engaged with your husband and learn to love him. As a newly married couple, you can choose to become fully engaged in a mutually shared relationship or not. The consequences of your decision is yours to make.

Lastly, a disciple didn’t choose his rabbi teacher. It was the rabbi who selected the student. Many may wish to learn at the feet of a great teacher, but the final decision wasn’t theirs to make.

In all three examples, adoption/marriage/discipleship, the instigator of the relationship wasn’t us, but the other side. Our chose is simply to accept our position in the relationship and become fully engaged in the relationship. The same is true with Jesus Christ. He has already chosen you. Will you accept your divine position and become fully engaged?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved