Freedom From Religion
Why Understanding the Freedom Christ Brought Matters
The holidays are a joyous time of year for many. It’s a time of celebration, a time of thanksgiving, a time of looking forward to getting together with family and friends. Your lives are filled with supportive people who love you unconditionally.
But for others, it’s a lonely time. A time of dread and recriminations. A time of reviewing failures and looking at a future without hope. Maybe you have turned away from church or religion or have walked away from faith and God altogether because your experience has been one of rules and laws and judgment and accusation.
“to annihilate the absurd notion of being right with God by following the Law in order to establish our new identity as adopted sons [and daughters] under the New Covenant with His death, burial and resurrection… It was never meant to make us righteous by our behavior. It was only meant to expose our unrighteousness.
“You see, Christ actually came to bring freedom from religion, not to put us under the yoke of a new one. (Gal.5:1) Why is this so? The Old Covenant saints did not have the resident Holy Spirit, which is why this moral restraint was necessary. Under the Mosaic Law, God had made a covenant with fallen man. But this is not true of you in Christ.
“If you are in Christ, you are a new creation and have the Holy Spirit to manage you from the inside out…You are free (Mt.17:26; Gal.4:6-7).”
Because of God’s grace, because of Christ’s death on the cross, we have been given the forgiveness and salvation and freedom to walk with him, to do right by him, and to accept his unconditional and overflowing love. When that acceptance happens, we are free to share that love with others.
It is only when we don’t accept God’s love that we fall backward into accusation, we decide it’s our job to judge instead of love, we shut the door to the immense love and peace of God to other people because we don’t want them to have his gifts. And they are his gifts to give.
These gifts have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the inheritance we accept as a son or daughter of God. When we are wealthy in the freedom of love and acceptance, we want to give love and acceptance away. We want to do the right thing. We want to learn to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. We want to shine encouraging light onto others. We want to reach out for help. We want to walk humbly with God.
Eventually, we may want to do more: serve our neighbors, our communities, the hungry, the environment, disaster victims, orphans, the elderly. We don’t need religious law to keep us on the right path or boxed in. And we certainly don’t need man-made religious law to keep God boxed in. He is bigger than that.
Tami Benson of LessonbyHeart said it best:
“There remains nothing more for us to do concerning salvation.
“This is not to be confused with the ‘good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them’ from Ephesians 2:10.
“Our work is not over…but it’s not for salvation, but rather because of our salvation.”
You are a precious child of God. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. If you have had a negative experience in church or with someone “religious” and judgmental, I apologize for them, and ask God’s forgiveness in their name. I pray it doesn’t permanently keep you away from the One who created you, the One who loves you unceasingly, the One who is faithful to you and awaits your return. Take heart, have hope, have faith. But most of all, have the love and freedom he offers.
- Which side of the Cross are you living on? (melwild.wordpress.com)