Have you heard or said the following; "I hate religion, but love Jesus", or "Its not about religion but about a relationship"? In a time when most people get their theology from self help gurus on TikTok or FaceBook, it sounds pithy, but the truth is, neither of those statements can be found in scripture but yet people accept them as "Gospel". Clearly a knee jerk reaction to legalism, those who say these type of things (and we've all been guilty of it in one form or another) are merely throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Jesus told the desciples to go out and teach men to "observe" all things that He had commanded. To faithfuly practice what He preached. To not just be hearers of the Word but doers as well. True Religion is rooted in Christ, the knowledge of Him, and expressed accordingly. To believe, and exist with accordance with the God in whom you say you serve. If there is no observance of ones faith then that faith is dead. Because faith without works is dead so is a faith that divorces itself from its own religion. From it's own observance. We should think and study hard before we repeat popular cliches to see if it truly is scriptural. It may sound piffy but in truth this is a statement that only serves as another means to move people away from the scriptures and hinders and negates a person's ability to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. This statement encourages people to move away from scripture and rely on the thoughts of man and their own feelings. You can't have Jesus without His words. You can't have Christianity without observing it. Christianity is a religion, the only true religion. A religion that is about a right and holy relationship with the Heavenly Father through Christ and He alone. It is the epitome of the heart and actions of the Great Shephard towards His people, and the expression of the heart of His sheep who have heard His voice and follow Him.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:16-18