The Essence of Modern Christian Living
Whether you live in the Middle East or not, the essence of Christian living has nothing to do with religion. Instead, it has everything to do with your relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s very easy for people to get religious. It’s easy to focus on the forms, it’s easy to go through the motions and somehow believe that you are doing God’s will, or you are being a good person
Unfortunately, if Jesus is not the source of that process and informs and sustains that process and ultimately is the author of that process that you readily acknowledge, then you’re just going through the motions. You just have a routine. In that case, religion is just like some sort of badge or identifying mark that you inherited from your parents and who, in turn, inherited from their parents before them.
In this case, what you believe in is not necessarily Jesus per se, but you believe in belief. You believe in (fill in the blank) denomination. I’m sorry to say but that is not real Christianity. Real Christianity is all about Jesus Christ and His word. It’s all about knowing Him, all about living for Him because ultimately, if we are really serious about following Christ, we die. That’s right. Apostle Paul stated in the Bible that if we look at the law, we die because that’s the law’s job.
The law points out how broken we are. The law points out our inadequacies. The law points out how much we need Christ. Because we, in our natural fallen states, cannot keep the law. We cannot do what we’re supposed to do. There’s a big divide between the things that we should be doing and the lives that we’re actually living.
When we understand this divide as reflected by the law, our hearts open up and then we beg for Christ to come. That’s when we realize we need a savior and it is in this context that any kind of idea or some sort of self-satisfaction in our estimation of how good we are, how well we treat other people or how just our lives are, are simply dangerous illusions that trip us up from a real relationship with Christ.
Unfortunately, being too wrapped up in religion, too wrapped up in churches, too wrapped up in the form without a clear relationship to the substance actually gets in the way. This doesn’t mean that you have to leave your denomination. This doesn’t mean that you have to distrust the religious traditions you grew up with. Instead, we are calling you to look at the big picture and look at who is the center of the big picture. The center should be Christ. The center should be His example as a perfect God and as a perfect man
By looking at His sacrifice where He died for your sins (let’s not mix any words here), you should be up on that cross. It should have been you that was put to death. But because God loves us so much, He, in the form of Christ, gave Himself for us so we can be reconciled with Him. That’s how much He loves us and that’s the kind of love we need to focus on because that is where we will draw our energy to walk with Him according to the law every single day.
If we are just going to try to do what’s right and think what’s right and say what’s right, we’re going to fail again and again because that’s not who our real selves are. That’s not our real nature. We are fallen. We are broken. Sin has made us defective. We need Christ to transform us into new creatures and to sanctify us moment to moment, so He can transport us glory to glory.
Live your life as a testimony to Christ by focusing on Him, not religion. Religion is not going to save you because only Jesus saves.