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The Difference Between Christianity and Religion

(15)

Sermon shared by Shawn Rose

June 2009
Summary: On the road to Damascus, Saul learned the difference between Christianity and religion.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General teen
Sermon:
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND RELIGION

Text: Acts 9:1 – 9

Introduction:
• Do you know the difference between Christianity and religion? (answer later)
• How many of you are currently in a “relationship?”
• Picture of my wife
o Began dating May 1, 1988
o Married August 4, 1989
• I have learned several things about relationships during past 20 years

I. When you have a relationship with someone, you cherish the time you get to spend with them
• When Dawn and I were dating, I was over at her house so often that her mother said that I was a “piece of furniture”
• We would make appointments to be with each other
• Sunday evenings after church, we didn’t want to part as I drove away to college

II. When you have a relationship with someone, you want to communicate with them
• Call Dawn as soon as I got to college campus
• Sending letters to one another while I was at college
• Wrote Dawn a book of poetry
• Today we share funny stories about work, discuss hurts and frustrations, vent, talk about problems
• Nowadays, Facebook and texting are popular ways to communicate with each other

III. When you have a relationship with someone, you want everyone else to know about them
• I love “so and so” written on the papers that are turned in to me at school
• Matching shirts – “I love him” “I love her”
• License plates to display love
• Carve on a tree
• Nowadays, put picture on cell phone

IV. When you have a relationship with someone, you are willing to sacrifice for them
• Time: Over the past several days, I have had to find time to prepare for two sermons, take care of my Grandmother, visit sick people, need to do laundry and cut the grass, but Dawn needed my help, so I put my stuff on the back burner
• Money and possessions: Once when Dawn and I were dating I had no money to buy gas to go to her house, so I used part of my coin collection because I wanted to spend time with her
• Self: I am willing to give my life to protect her if necessary

Conclusion:
• Story of Saul on the road to Damascus
• Saul learned the difference between Christianity and religion
• Religion = lists of dos and don’ts; Pharisees identified over 600 commandments in the Law; Saul knew Law backwards and forwards, tithed everything he owned, went without food twice a week, prayed several times a day, explained the law to the Jewish people, tried to stop Christianity from spreading
• Christianity = relationship with God; Saul didn’t know God personally (v. 5)
• Lots of people go to church, carry their Bibles, bow their heads when it is time to pray
• Others have Jesus fish on their cars, wear crosses, active in the youth group
• Problem with religion is that you never know when you’ve done enough to make it to Heaven
• Truth is, you can’t do enough
• True Christianity is recognizing that you have sinned, asking Jesus to forgive you, and asking Him to be the leader of your life from that point forward
• It doesn’t matter what you did a year ago or 5 years ago, what kind of relationship do you have with him now?
• If you really have a relationship with him, you will cherish the time you get to spend with Him, you will want to communicate with Him, you will want other people to know about Him, and you will be willing to sacrifice for Him
• If you really have a relationship with him, you will want to do these things because
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