Religion vs The Gospel
It’s easy to mistake religion with having a relationship with God, but His focus is on our hearts and if we’re “clean” on the inside (Mark 7:1-23). Like the Pharisees, we can miss the intention of Scripture — we get it in our heads but not in our hearts (Psalm 51:10-13). Rules can never change our lives; only Christ in us over time can do that. The good news is that our identities are not based on our performance (our works don’t make us better). God’s grace covers us! Following all the rules doesn’t make us more worthy to come before Jesus. This also means we shouldn’t be critical of others who are trying and failing to find/follow Jesus. When we sin, we often feel unworthy but that’s the best time to bring it all at the foot of the throne. Not putting weight on what we do/accomplish but in who God says we are gives us a new perspective and offers freedom.
1) How much weight do I put into what I do compared to who God says I am?
2) Do I tend to judge others or be critical of them? If so, to whom and why do I do that?
3) What feelings prevent me from going to Christ when I sin? How can I instead step into the freedom of God’s grace?