How does a person come into right relationship with the God of all creation? We might ask, ‘Can a person have a right relationship with the God of all creation?’ If they can, then how? How could that happen?
Some would say that God is too big and too busy to bother with little ole me… some might say that there is no god… some might say, if there is a god we cannot have a relationship with such a being.
There are many others that believe there is a God and desire to have a real relationship with Him, but don’t know how… so they turn to “religion”. But which religion has the answer to how a person can have a real, satisfying, life giving relationship with the God of all creation???
I have a working definition of ‘religion’ that I need to give at this point so we will be on the same page for the sake of discussion… generally speaking, religion is mans attempt to relate to God through rules and regulations that guide people to relate to God properly. The key words in my definition are “mans attempt”… we can point to the 10 commandments, the rules of the Old Testament of the Bible, and the practices of many religious groups in existence today as evidence for the efforts of religion to please God.
But I believe that “true religion” must be defined by God Himself since He is the Supreme Being, the Creator, and the One who desires to have a ‘right relationship’ with all people. Let’s start with the only definition for ‘religion’ found in the Bible;
James 1:26-27 NASU
26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
We can see from this definition of religion that it has nothing to do with rules and laws; ‘true religion’ has to do with relating to God and relating to other people. When the religious rulers of the day came to trip Jesus up they asked Him what the greatest commandment is and He said…
” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matt 22:37-40 NASU
There is no mention of keeping rules or acceptable lifestyle in Biblical ‘religion’ which is really salvation by faith in the finished sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all individuals – past, present, and future.
But still… some would say that after we receive the grace work of salvation by faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross through Grace we then must perform the works that prove or make our salvation sure and complete…
What do you think?
… Enter Gods grace… How does the grace of God fit into: our relationship with God, and the way we live our lives after coming into a right relationship with God? Has God done it all by His grace or is there a part for us to perform?