Pristine Grace

True Religion
What it is Not and What it Is
by Jim Byrd

  1. It is not outward religious behavior. "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." For most people their religion is no more than an outward conformity to social standards of righteousness. Of this much you can be sure: true religion – whatever it is – it is not something that a lost, unregenerate man can produce.
     
  2. It is not ceremonial and ritualistic. The burning of candles, reciting of prayer, kneeling, walking an aisle, wearing of religious jewelry, and dressing in religious garments might make you feel religious, but those things have nothing to do with true worship. In fact, the more ceremony and ritualism that is added the further away we are from worshiping God.
     
  3. It is not merely doctrinal beliefs. Doctrine is important; it is essential to true religion, but you can be orthodox in many areas and still not know God. Just ask Saul of Tarsus; he had some correct doctrine before God saved him and he was very religious, but He was a stranger to true religion.
     
  4. True religion is an inward, spiritual knowledge and reverence of the living God as he is revealed in Christ Jesus. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). Paul said, "We are the circumcision;" that is, we are the true people of God, we are those whose religion is true, "Which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3).