Is Religion A Part of Your Life?

So often people speak of religion today as if it were just another element to life, like any other hobby or interest that someone might pursue.  They will speak in very complimentary ways of all the positive things that spirituality contributes to life, putting it on the same level as exercising regularly or flossing every day.  This is especially true when dealing with religion in general, and even sometimes with respect to Christianity.  It is often presented as a message of, “Is your life a puzzle that’s not quite coming together?  Jesus may be the missing piece you’re looking for; try Him out and see what He can do for you!”

But our problem is much deeper than a “missing piece to the puzzle of life”.  The problem is that sin has not only separated us from God, but it has placed us under His wrath, completely condemned and without hope.  This is why the gospel of “give Jesus a try” is ultimately a failure; it offers no answer for the real problem we all face.  The spiritual things we may do – praying, reading the Bible (or other holy books), doing good deeds, etc., may give loads of warm fuzzies, but in the end they are ultimately and completely worthless.

Jesus did not come to show us what a good life well-lived looks like.  He did not come merely to show us how to serve and forgive.  He came because without His sacrificial death and resurrection, every person stands condemned by his or her sin, and can never escape the wrath of a just and holy God.  This has never been a popular message, but to understand otherwise is to be terribly deceived.

I was reminded of this when I read this quote:

“What Christ is as Savior perfectly dovetails our deepest and most ultimate need.  This is just saying that Christ’s sufficiency as Savior meets the desperateness and hopelessness of our sin and misery.

Christ is exactly suited to all that I am in my sin and misery and to all that I should aspire to be by God’s grace.  Christ fits in perfectly to the totality of our situation in its sin, guilt, misery, and ill-desert.”

– John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1955), 111

Christ came to meet our most desperate need.  Not the need to “live your best life now”, but to have life, and to stand justified before the Father, through the work of the Son.  If you don’t have that, then all you have is religion.

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