Is Christianity a religion or a way of life? Well, it depends. So let me put it this way…
How We Think of Religion
Often, when we think about religion, we are thinking about three R’s. We are thinking about rules, we’re thinking about rhythms, we’re thinking about rituals.
And when you have a combination of these things that you think don’t really mean much and are not life giving, you say you don’t want to have anything to do with that. My Christianity is much more about expressing life.
The Core of Christianity
Well, the Bible, actually, is less concerned about whether or not you practice religion. It’s more concerned about whether you practice pure and faultless religion as James 1:27 tells us. You see, at the core of Christianity is this gospel; this life changing gospel about what God has done in Christ Jesus.
At the core of Christianity is the life changing gospel about what God has done in Christ Jesus.
The Effect of Embracing The Gospel
Now, if you embrace that gospel, it actually leads to certain rules: that you are not meant to do certain things, and you’re meant to do certain things.
For instance, you’re meant to treat the poor kindly. You’re not meant to look down on them. You’re not meant to use your body in a way that dishonours God.
It also leads to certain rhythms. For instance, you’re meant to go to church regularly as Hebrews 10:25 tells us. And also leads to certain rituals. For instance, you’re meant to take the Lord’s supper at communion regularly.
The Son In the Centre
So, the problem is when people embrace those rules and rituals without the gospel at the centre. At that point, it lacks meaning and it lacks power.
The problem is when people embrace rules and rituals without the gospel at the centre.
You know, when you think about the solar system, where the sun is at the centre and all these planets revolve round it. Well, that’s what communion is meant to be. That’s what not mis-using your body – for example not having sex before marriage – is meant to be. Because Jesus has purchased us in the gospel.
Religion That Is Pure and Faultless
Communion reflects what Jesus has done in the gospel on the cross and anticipates His return. The rhythm of going to church reflects the fact that we are united with Christ’s body.
When we think about that, then we should pursue a religion that is pure and faultless because it is life changing.