Religion or Relationship
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. (8)
The 19th century Danish theologian Soren Kierkegar identified two kinds of religion. Religion " A " and Religion " B " .The first is "Faith" in name only (2 Tim 3:5 ). It's the practice of attending church without genuine faith in the Living Lord. Religion "B ", on the other hand is a life-transforming destiny- changing experience. It is definite commitment to the crucified and risen Savior which establishes an ongoing personal relationship between a forgiven sinner and a gracious God;
This difference explains why for many years British author C.S. Lewis had such great difficulty in becoming a Christian. Religion A had blinded him to Religion B. According to his brother Warren, his conversion was "no sudden plunge into a new life, but rather a slow, steady convalescence from a deep-seated spiritual illness, an illness that had its origins in our childhood, in the dry husks of religion offered by the semi - political churchgoing of Ulster, and the similar dull, emptiness of compulsory church during our school days "
The question that we need to ask ourselves is do we believe in religion or relationship. Paul, who was a follower of a strong religious order now understand that relationship with God is important than following a religion and he says to gain that relationship he wants to lose everything. Vs. 7 reads “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ” We all face two pivotal questions. First are we bogged down in the empty ceremonialism of Religion A? If so, we must receive Jesus as our Savior. Second, is our relationship with Christ growing more deep and vital?
Prayer: Lord, make my life a window for Your light to shine through and a mirror to reflect Your love to all I meet. Amen
Thought for the Day: Relationship with God through Faith.
Skariah Zachariah, Trinity Mar Thoma Church Edmonton.