Summary: The riches of a relationship with the true God through faith in Christ alone cannot compare to the bankruptcy of merit religion.

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Dead Religion or New Life?

(Philippians 3:1-3)


1. Many of you know that I love the music of the 20’s and 30’s and old time radio from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.

2. Because of MP3 formatting of discs, I have discs with over 100 shows on them…all available Jack Benny programs (the greatest radio comedian).

3. Jack Benny also made movies. His last movie, "The Horn Blows At Midnight" was a big flop, so they make fun of it constantly.

4. In one episode, Jack walks past a movie theater showing The Horn Blows at Midnight.

5. He asked the girl at the ticket window if she had sold a lot of tickets.

6. Haven’t sold one all week…Jack buys one….

7. Later he confronts the manager: girls said not selling tickets, yet the theater was almost filled…

8. He said, "we rented it to the morgue this week."

9. "You mean they are all dead?"

10. "Yep," said the manager, "but the funny thing is that this movie is so bad that three of them got up and walked out!"

11. May I suggest to you that many people in our churches are spiritually dead, not unlike those in the theater.

12. There is a big difference between a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and outward religion.

13. That’s why Jesus said we need to be born again…to be raised to spiritual life.

We cannot earn a relationship with God, but must submit to His verdict that we are lost, helpless, and sinful, and that the only cure is to believe that Jesus bore your ugly ways and sins on the cross, shedding His blood to save you from the wrath of God and from yourself, rising again as a victor.

Main idea: The riches of a relationship with the true God through faith in Christ alone cannot compare to the bankruptcy of merit religion.

I. Dead or FALSE Religion (2)

1. Teachers of this way are called DOGS

1. "Dogs" here do not refer to house pets, but scavenging packs that plagued the cities…sort of like we think of rats…not a complimentary term

2. The Jews often referred to gentiles as the "dogs" and themselves as Children of the Most High. These false teachers in the church who insisted that Christians must keep the Laws of Moses to be saved are called "dogs" by Paul

· Nowadays, this position is called, "covenantal nomism," the idea that you enter the New Covenant by faith in Christ but stay in the covenant by keeping the 10 commandments and other Old or New Testament laws; it is growing in popularity…similar to Roman Catholicism (synergism)

3. What this tells us about name-calling, labeling false religious leaders, and Jesus statement, "Judge not lest you be judged…."

2. We are to beware of them, not OBLIVIOUS

1. Too many Christians do not recognize false teaching

2. If they do, they either live in denial or think it is acceptable

According to Pollster George Barna, " Born again Christians are more likely than non-born again individuals to accept moral absolutes. Specifically, 32% of born agains said they believe in moral absolutes, compared to just half as many (15%) among non-born agains. (2002)"

3. Comes back to this question: what is the measuring stick of truth; human reason or Scripture?

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