Home > true christianity > Religion vs. The Gospel (Part 2) — A Shift in Perspective

Religion vs. The Gospel (Part 2) — A Shift in Perspective

According to Matt Chandler from the Village Church, Christians look at the world through a number of lenses:
• People who look through a Religious lens think that God gets obedience from you from bearing on your guilt and shame and crushing you into submission.

• People who look at the world through the Gospel lens see that God frees you up to love and walk in the joy of obedience by bearing your guilt and shame Himself.

Even though I knew it was a free gift God gave me, I realized that I was feeling guilty and that the guilt was not of God. I was living my life like any Muslim, Hindu, or other religious person who thought that the way to God was through checking off things on a spiritual to-do list.

When I committed a “big” sin [insert the big sin for a young man, lol] I found myself running away from God like Adam in the garden and I knew that something was wrong. Christ was my Savior and Lord, but I wasn’t enjoying my freedom. I had too many rules, too many things that I could or could not do. Most of them were not in the Bible. I could not go to clubs. I could not party. I could not drink. I could not listen to this music or that music. I had not really examined why I wasn’t doing these things. I didn’t do those things because I observed that most church folk didn’t do them. (To club or not to club is the next post, by the way!!!) There was a joy missing from my life that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

When Jesus says that he who the Son sets free is free indeed, I didn’t feel that way (John 8:36). In my heart, I knew that I had the wrong perspective.

My problem was that I was too focused on getting myself together and doing things out of duty. It was soulless, joyless work. I knew that God wanted my heart to be in what I did. He wants a cheerful giver. He wants people to love Him and do things out of love. (I Cor. 13, I John 4). I was doing some of the things out of a sense of obligation.

How is this love possible? I began to see that I needed to spend quality time with the Lord. Not just a quiet time where I fell asleep with my head buried in the bible, but real quality time, where I really try to communicate with God. The more we spend quality time with God, He is able to transform our mind. Rather than focus on my to-do list, I focus now on Jesus Christ and getting to know Him. As He transforms me, I feel His love more and more and I am able to love others as He does. As I commune with Him, I am able to follow and walk by the Spirit of God.

Now, I understand that I don’t have to carry a spiritual to-do list. Because when you truly love God and his people, you won’t steal from them, you won’t sleep with somebody who is not your wife, and you won’t lie against another person. What was hard for you because it was an obligation is now easy for you because you are now doing it out of love. And when I do sin (which is quite often) I can quickly and confidently go to him and confess what I have done, knowing that it is only by the grace given to me by God that I have access to him anyway. God desires to change my heart and through changing my heart, my behavior follows. Kinfolk, do you feel free?

(To be continued)

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  1. carlal
    May 15, 2008 at 7:15 am

    I have added you to my blogroll. Please fell free to visit my weblog Carlal’s Weblog at http://carlal.wordpress.com . Leave comments if you wish. Negative or positive. I can take it, I am a big girl {although not in size}:)!
    Carlal.

  2. May 17, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Thanks!

  1. June 8, 2009 at 12:08 am

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