Religious Bondage

We need more people to understand the actual definition of religion and the ultimate meaning of the word religion. The word religion comes from the Latin and while there are a few different translations, the most prevalent roots take you back to the Latin word “Re-Ligare.” “Ligare” means “to bind.”  Adding the “re” before “ligare” causes the word to mean “Re-Bind.” Most often people experience religion’s “bondage” to Laws, ritual, and rites as the most negative sense of the word. Religion then is a mis-representation of God’s desired relationship with Him.

By way of example;

many who had been in bondage to the corrupt ways and values of the world system of this evil age eventually grow older and come to think they need religion. So, they try to perform under some religious organization’s religious rules, precepts and laws, trying to make themselves good enough to be saved and go to heaven. But of course, they find there is nothing but frustration in religionbecause none of us can perform perfectly under religion’s performance demands (laws). In fact, James tells Israel; ’if we offend one point of the law, we’ve offended it all.’

Some of these religious folks then hear Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), believing it they are genuinely saved. Then they taste the joy, peace, and rest of the freedoms of being unconditionally loved and in union with Christ as their all-sufficiency. They learn that they are fully “justified” and fully “accepted in the beloved” (Rom. 5:1).

But sadly, before long some well-meaning but ignorant religionist then tells them “It’s great that you are now saved, but now, if you will do certain things then God will love you and bless you all the more.”

Not knowing they have already “been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), they then revert to the law of religion’s performance-based acceptance system. But rather than gaining ‘more blessing’… they are miserable and the joy of the Lord disappears.

What happened to make one so miserable after being gloriously save by God’s grace?

The answer is they were deceived to become religious – they were drawn back into Bondage of Re-ligion.

Knowing the deadening effects of religion, we can see how in the Bible we have the example of the Galatians who actually experienced going back to law religion.

The Galatians at one time received and enjoyed the liberty, the freedoms of Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God.” Paul as “the Apostle to the Gentiles” taught believer’s freedom from the Law and freedom from the power of “Sin (the sin-nature) in the flesh (Rom. 8:3) and that now “it is God who worketh IN you to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

But they believed the lies of religion and surrendered their faith in God’s work for them and in them … for their own futile, vain, religious self-effort. Their life turned from joy to frustrating wretchedness.

Twice in Galatians 2 Paul speaks of “the truth of the gospel.” In both cases the Apostle had been forced to speak out to defend the purity of “the gospel of the grace of God.”

In Galatians 2:4-5 Paul refers to his opposers, those religious folks at Jerusalem who attempt to bring Paul’s Gentile believers under the Law of Moses. Among them were “false brethren,” he says were,

“unawares [dishonestly] brought in… to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

to whom we [Paul and Barnabas] gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.”

In the second case Paul refers to a controversy with Peter who, having enjoyed blessed fellowship with Gentile Christians at Galatian, had become intimidated by some of his religious Jewish brethren into separating himself from the Gentiles. Concerning this, Paul writes:

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I [Paul] withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. Galatians 2:11 (KJV)

Why was Peter to be blamed? Galatians 2:14 answers: Because he “walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel,” i.e., “the gospel of the grace of God,” in which believing Jews and Gentiles are “one body in Christ” during today’s age of the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Gal. 3:2)

How we should all thank God for Paul’s vigorous defense of the gospel of the grace of God,” under which today all who trust in Christ as Savior are baptized (engulfed and swept) by the Holy Spirit into the one true Church, “the body of Christ” (I Cor. 12:13). Hereby they enter into an eternal union with Christ. So, there is a proper binding or attachment that real grace believers do enjoy and that is their loving union with Christ.

Doubtless Paul’s stand for “the gospel of the grace of God stemmed from the fact that he himself had experienced the truth of this blessed message. As the chief of sinners, he had been gloriously saved. All Paul’s power and prestige as a Pharisee, all his intellectual achievement, all his rigid Law observance meant nothing now, as in the presence of the glorified Lord he saw himself a sinner, the chief of sinners, and was saved by the matchless grace of God.

We need more people to understand the actual definition of religion and the ultimate meaning of the word religion. The word religion comes from the Latin and while there are a few different translations, the most prevalent roots take you back to the Latin word “Re-Ligare.” “Ligare” means “to bind.”  Adding the “re” before “ligare” causes the word to mean “Re-Bind.” Most often people experience religion’s “bondage” to Laws, ritual, and rites. as the most negative sense of the word. This is a mis-representation of God’s desired relationship with Him.

Many who had thought they needed to perform correctly under region’s religious laws to be saved, then hear Paul’s gospel of grace and are genuinely saved. Then, for a time taste the joy peace and rest of the freedoms of being in union with Christ as their all-sufficiency.

But, before long, sadly, some well-meaning but ignorant religionist tells them “Now, if you do this and that God will love you even more and bless you all the more.”

Not knowing they have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), they then revert to the law and religion’s performance-based acceptance system. But rather than gaining ‘more’ blessing… they lose their freedoms and of knowing they are fully “justified” and fully “accepted in the beloved” (Rom. 5:1).

What happened? They became religious – as they are drawn back into bondage of religion.

Knowing this of the deadening effect of religion we can see how the Galatians actually experienced this. The Galatians at one time enjoyed the liberty, the freedoms of Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God.” The “Apostle to the Gentiles” Paul, taught believer’s freedom from the Law and freedom from the power of “Sin (the sin-nature) in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3) and that “it is God who worketh IN you to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). They surrender God’s work for them and in them, for their futile, vain religious self-effort. Their life turns from joy to wretchedness.

Twice in Galatians 2 Paul speaks of “the truth of the gospel.” In both cases the Apostle had been forced to speak out to defend the purity of “the gospel of the grace of God.”

In Gal. 2:4-5 he refers to his contest with those at Jerusalem who would have brought the Gentile believers under the law of Moses. Among them were “false brethren,” he says, “unawares brought in… to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.”

In the second case Paul refers to a controversy with Peter who, having enjoyed blessed fellowship with Gentile Christians, had become intimidated by some of his Jewish brethren into separating himself from the Gentiles. Concerning this, Paul writes: 11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. Galatians 2:11 (KJV)

Why was Peter to be blamed? Verse 14 answers: Because he “walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel,” i.e., “the gospel of the grace of God,” in which believing Jews and Gentiles are “one body in Christ” during today’s age of the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Gal. 3:2)

How we should all thank God for Paul’s vigorous defense of the gospel of grace, under which all who trust in Christ as Savior are baptized (engulfed) by the Holy Spirit into the one true Church, “the body of Christ” (I Cor. 12:13). Hereby they enter into union with Christ. So, there is a proper attachment that real grace believers do enjoy and that is their union with Christ.

Doubtless Paul’s stand for “the gospel of the grace of God stemmed from the fact that he himself had experienced the truth of this blessed message. As the chief of sinners, he had been gloriously saved. All his power and prestige as a Pharisee, all his intellectual achievement, all his rigid Law observance meant nothing now, as in the presence of the glorified Lord he saw himself a sinner, the chief of sinners, and was saved by the matchless grace of God.

We need more people to understand the actual definition of religion and the ultimate meaning of the word religion. The word religion comes from the Latin and while there are a few different translations, the most prevalent roots take you back to the Latin word “Re-Ligare.” “Ligare” means “to bind.”  Adding the “re” before “ligare” causes the word to mean “Re-Bind.”

Thankfully, many who had thought they needed to perform correctly under region’s religious laws to be saved, then hear Paul’s gospel of grace and are saved. Then, for a time taste the joy peace and rest of the freedoms of being in union with Christ as their all-sufficiency.

But before long, sadly, some well-meaning but ignorant religionist tells them “Now, if you do this and that God will love you even more and bless you all the more.”

Not knowing they have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), they then revert to the law and religion’s performance-based acceptance system. But rather than gaining ‘more’ blessing… they lose their freedoms and of knowing they are fully “justified” and fully “accepted in the beloved” (Rom. 5:1).

What happened? They became religious – as they are drawn back into bondage of religion.

Knowing this of the deadening effect of religion we can see how the Galatians actually experienced this. The Galatians at one time enjoyed the liberty, the freedoms of Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God.” The “Apostle to the Gentiles” Paul, taught believer’s freedom from the Law and freedom from the power of “Sin (the sin-nature) in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3) and that “it is God who worketh IN you to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). They surrender God’s work for them and in them, for their futile, vain religious self-effort. Their life turns from joy to wretchedness.

Twice in Galatians 2 Paul speaks of “the truth of the gospel.” In both cases the Apostle had been forced to speak out to defend the purity of “the gospel of the grace of God.”

In Gal. 2:4-5 he refers to his contest with those at Jerusalem who would have brought the Gentile believers under the law of Moses. Among them were “false brethren,” he says, “unawares brought in… to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.”

In the second case Paul refers to a controversy with Peter who, having enjoyed blessed fellowship with Gentile Christians, had become intimidated by some of his Jewish brethren into separating himself from the Gentiles. Concerning this, Paul writes: 11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. Galatians 2:11 (KJV)

Why was Peter to be blamed? Verse 14 answers: Because he “walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel,” i.e., “the gospel of the grace of God,” in which believing Jews and Gentiles are “one body in Christ” during today’s age of the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Gal. 3:2)

How we should all thank God for Paul’s vigorous defense of the gospel of grace, under which all who trust in Christ as Savior are baptized (engulfed) by the Holy Spirit into the one true Church, “the body of Christ” (I Cor. 12:13).

Doubtless Paul’s stand for “the gospel of the grace of God stemmed from the fact that he himself had experienced the truth of this blessed message. As the chief of sinners, he had been gloriously saved. All his power and prestige as a Pharisee, all his intellectual achievement, all his rigid Law observance meant nothing now, as in the presence of the glorified Lord he saw himself a sinner, the chief of sinners, and was saved by the matchless grace of God.

Questions or Comment?

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