"Religious" Practice versus The Genuine Christian Faith Relationship

By Arthur Licursi -

Many people reject religion as I did from the time that I was twelve years old and in retrospect, that was good. My intention by this post is that we should come to see how to tell the difference between manmade ‘Religionand that of God’s Genuine Life-Giving Spiritual Relationship With Believers.

Many use the two terms ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’ interchangeably. But actually, these two terms are opposites in that – RELIGION is OUTER in Its Practices and Demands, while the genuine God-Given Spiritual relationship is an INNER REALITY that believers enjoy as comfort, rest and peace with God.

For thousands of years humanity has passionately pursued ‘Truth,’ seeking the ultimate answers to life and the universe, by looking to Religion. They sought answers to the questions of the soul of most thinking humans; Who am I? What is my purpose? What is the meaning of life? Every thinking human should at one time or another consider such questions, provoking them to seek God for the answers.

The fact is that these questions are properly answered by the only source of “Truth.” “Truth” is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Truth, Jesus of Nazareth was the incarnate “Word of God.” He was the visible expression of the God-head. Thankfully, we today have the Bible as the written “words of God” that Jesus gave to the Apostle Paul for us Gentiles today, proclaiming the new GRACE gospel for all men.

All men need to know that He by His “Spirit of life” is now available to Indwell Every Genuine seeker who will come to BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.

The word ‘Truth’ refers to ‘verity or reality… that which is real. Jesus as Truth said;

“… I am the way, The TRUTH [the eternal reality], and the [eternal] LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6 (KJV).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word Was With God, and the Word Was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him [Jesus]; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3 (KJV)

Let’s now compare man’s Religion’ to the only genuine, Biblical, God-given Spirituality for today.

First Let’s Consider Man’s ‘Religion’:

By definition, religion is a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices; usually pertaining the service and worship of God by employing ‘man’s work,’ his self-effort expended in Trying To Earn God’s Favor and Blessing.

Religion is a man-conceived system of belief and therefore manmade. It often borrows fragments of Bible truth and misuses it to serve the ends of ‘man’s religion.’ Yet, it is devoid of God’s genuine faith in the life and power that is only available through faith the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. Only Christ’s death of the cross for us… merits the possibility of our having relationship with God.

Religion is deceptively and built upon manmade ‘tradition and it is devoid of the reality of Bible Truth, lacking any intimate personal relationship with the Almighty that is available to all mankind today.

Being devoid of genuine spiritualityRELIGION resorts to employing empty Traditions as Manmade Laws that are; external, visible, physical, rites, rituals, prayers, liturgies, baptisms, special food, observing holy days, and the like. Many foolishly believe these empty religious practices make one spiritual. This is contrary to the Biblical truth for today, during today’s age of “the GRACE of God.” This “Grace” will be explained later (below).

By the time Jesus of Nazareth came onto the scene Israel’s religious leaders had imposed into their own manmade Religious TraditionsAdding Them to the Commandments of the Lord, trying to appear religious. Then, speaking to the religious leaders of Israel Jesus had this to say about Israel’s Religious “TRADITIONS.”

“For laying aside The Commandment of God, ye hold the Tradition of Men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well Ye Reject the Commandment of God, [so] That Ye May Keep Your Own TRADITION [in place of The Commandment of God].” (Mark 7:8-9)
13 MAKING THE WORD OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT through your TRADITION, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (Mark 7:13)

Jesus likely would say the same today concerning today’s Hierarchical Traditional Manmade Religious institutions, and other Religious sects that impose their ‘Denominational Laws and Traditions.’ Religion, by its Demands, Serves to Rule Over Man … promising reward based upon its supplicant’s merit or lack thereof. Religion is a PERFORMANCE BASED ACCEPTANCE SYSTEM that says IF you do well you will be BLESSED, but IF you do not do well, you will be CURSED. This basis of blessing presents an impossible dilemma for every human, born in sin with a sin nature at his core.

Now Let us Consider the Christians SPIRITUAL GRACE Relationship with God:

God today offers mankind a whole New Relationship that counts man’s faith in Christ as sufficient for God to consider that man as Righteous before Him. We are immediately “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Eph. 1:3)

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his Faith Is Counted For Righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without [good] works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities [sins] are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute [not count his] sin.” (Romans 4:5-8)

This then is the “Free-Gift” of the Grace program that Paul called “the gospel [good news] of the grace of God (Act 20:24). In contrast with Religion’s Performance Requirements, under God’s Free-gift “GRACE” Program, Christ has done all for us and His “Spirit of life” indwells His believers, serving then to live His life through them unto eternal glory.

“Even the mystery [Greek, musterion, the secret plan of God] which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints [believers]: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery [secret] among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY:” (Colossians 1:26-27 (KJV)

The only genuine God-given spirituality, implies a personal experience by a literal spirit-union with the eternal “spirit of God”; then to live everyday life in utter dependence upon the work of “the Spirit of life in Christ” who indwells every believer’s spirit to the renew their souls in Truth and Life (Phili 2:13).

  • Genuinely Spiritual Grace-age believers trust in the Crosswork, life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as “the life-giving Spirit” (Rom. 8:2)
  • Genuinely Spiritual Grace-age believers relate to an inner, invisible, relationship with God Almighty, which is based solely upon the merit of Christ’s Cross-work and the largess of God toward man, which is called “GRACE.”
  • This “GRACE” is God’s ‘FREE GIFT’ program (Eph. 2:8-9) that is available to all mankind today when they Trust in Christ as their personal Savior.
  • Thereby, these Grace-age believers simultaneously become the members of the Gentile “body of Christ” (1Cor 12:13).
  • All Grace-age believers are immediately indwelled and Gifted with the very LIFE (the Spirit of Life) of the resurrected Christ the very moment they first believe (1Cor. 15:45; Col. 3:4a).
  • Grace-age Believers then become His “ambassadors” toward other men until they are removed from planet earth by their Rapture to Dwell and co-reign with Christ “Eternal In The Heavens (cf. 2Cor 5:1b, 20; Phili. 3:20-21; Col. 3:4; 2 Tim.2:12, 4:1; Titus 2:13).
  • They will co-reign with Christ in heaven forever (2Tim. 2:12), as their reward (1Cor. 3:14).

Questions or Comment?

You can make comments or ask questions using this form. I welcome your questions and comments for discussion but … I will not engage in arguments with anyone. We can always agree to disagree.