Summary: Religion doesn’t save you; a relationship with God through Jesus Christ saves you.
Religious in all Respects
March 11, 2012 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Religion doesn’t save you; a relationship with God through Jesus Christ saves you.
Focus Passage: Acts 17:22-31
Supplemental Passage: 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. 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. (James 1:26-27 NASB)
Introduction: Relate the story from Frank Peretti’s book about the angel being in the church service watching everyone sing, but only hearing one little old woman actually singing praise to the Lord.
I. Religion over Relationship
a. More concerned with dictates than with doctrine
i. “To be a ‘good’ Christian, you MUST do this and you MUST NOT do that.”
ii. Prefers political correctness over truth.
b. More concerned about self and how everything relates to you
i. Only care about others when they mess up
c. More concerned about outward appearances than inward holiness
i. “I can’t BELIEVE she wore THAT to church!”
ii. Involved with ministries of the church but have no substance to your faith
d. More concerned with being served than with serving others
i. “What can church do for me?” “What can church give me?”
e. More concerned with talking than with listening
i. both with God and with others
II. Relationship over Religion
a. Consumed with a passion for God’s Word
i. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalms 1:2 NASB)
ii. My zeal has consumed me, Because my adversaries have forgotten Your words. Your word is very pure, Therefore Your servant loves it. (Psalms 119:139-140 NASB)
b. Consumed with a desire to pray and listen
i. Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You. (Psalms 38:9 NASB)
c. Consumed with a passion for the lost
i. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, (1 Timothy 4:10 NASB)
d. Consumed with a thirst for righteousness
i. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6 NASB)
e. Consumed with a hunger for holiness
i. For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, (2 Corinthians 1:12 NASB)
f. Consumed with forgiveness & grace.
i. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (Matthew 5:7 NASB)
Invitation: Do you only have a religion? Or do you have a real relationship with God? Move your religion into a relationship toay.