Religion is a vast concept, encapsulating numerous aspects of the human experience. My goal is not to conduct an exhaustive exploration of the topic but rather to gain an understanding of its fundamental principles.
Religion typically provides a structured system of beliefs through which humans attempt to connect with or appease a transcendent, omniscient, omnipotent being. This spiritual endeavour to placate the Creator is seen in religious practices worldwide. However, it is worth noting the Biblical verse,
“So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Religious practices often revolve around complying with a set of moral and ethical laws. Most religions acknowledge the concept of sin, which is often seen as the main cause of separation between humans and the divine entity.
Religions attempt to rectify this perceived rift through various rituals and supernatural beliefs. Some may deny the existence of a benevolent god and natural creations, while others might construct objects to symbolize different deities.
Acts of devotion can be seen in various forms, including fasting, self-harm, or even self-sacrifice, all in the name of religion.
However, the Bible reminds us:
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, (4) that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (5) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (6) For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. “(Romans 8:3-7).
“For Christ, is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes “.
No religious efforts can ultimately reconcile humanity with God; instead, these efforts often expose our own inherent sinfulness. The law highlights our sinful nature, giving life and power to sin.
By understanding religion as a set of moral laws, we can reinterpret Romans 10:4:
“For Christ is the end of religion for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Through accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior, salvation is secured by the precious blood of Jesus, and one is freed from sin and its eternal consequences.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
But salvation cannot be achieved through human efforts or works.
The path to God is through Jesus Christ, who descended from Heaven to Earth, provided the path to God, sacrificed Himself on the cross for humanity’s sins, and was resurrected on the third day before ascending to Heaven. Jesus Christ alone made the claim,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”.
No one else has ever made such a claim, and God repeatedly validates this in the scriptures as the only way to salvation from sin and death.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16).
God also demonstrated His approval of Jesus during His baptism, proclaiming,
“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
From these observations, we can draw two essential conclusions:
- Human efforts to appease God through religious practices are insufficient and unproductive.
- A relationship with Jesus, as the path to God, is not based on religious practice but on faith.
It’s worth noting that Jesus’ followers were initially referred to as Christians by non-believers in Antioch (Acts 11:26). Neither God the Father nor Jesus ever advocated for any form of religion. The emphasis has always been on believing in Jesus “Whoever believes in Jesus” (John 3:15-16, John 11:26, John 12: 46).
Thus, placing our trust in Jesus and acknowledging Him as our Lord and Savior is not merely a religious ritual but the only authentic path towards aligning ourselves with God.
Jesus was sent to be our salvation. Embracing Him as our Savior is crucial for eternal life in His presence. To refuse this divine gift is to risk eternal separation from God.