Relationship Over Religion
For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
Galatians 5:6 NLT
The apostle Paul had been transformed by a personal encounter with the risen Christ. When he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, everything changed for Paul. Prior to that moment, he was convinced the only way to please God was to obey the Jewish law. Obedience to the law began by physical circumcision.
As Paul traveled to preach the good news of salvation through faith in the resurrected Christ, there were others who followed behind called Judaizers. They would try to convince these new Christians they needed to be circumcised and obey all the OT laws. Paul constantly attacked these people in his letters to the earlier believers.
Today, we still have people who get sidetracked into rules and religious activities. They start their spiritual journey by placing faith in the risen Christ, but then someone tells them they have to do all this religious stuff, and they lose the relationship with God through faith in Christ.
Religious activity—even though it is good—can never replace a relationship. I’m not against going to church and small groups. I’m not against serving and giving. These are all good. But they should grow out of our love relationship with our Heavenly Father, who has loved us and given His Son Jesus to die for us.
Holy Spirit, I ask that You renew my love relationship today. Help me to live in harmony with You and Your will. Free me from thinking I can please You with religious activities.
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