Summary: The church, more Christian (followers of Christ) then religious (practising traditions and rituals)
The Church, Christianity or Religion
Text: John 8:1-12
1. While Religion and Christianity should be the same thing, far too often it is not.
Religion too often thrives on creeds, credentials, and adherence to codes of conduct
True Christianity holds to faith and inner spiritual life
2. Are you into religion, or are you into Christianity?
Are you into faith, or are you into form? They are worlds apart
3. We are told in, 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith…”
a. This word Examine is a powerful, ugly Greek word which literally means, to tempt, test, trial, even to the point of tempting to sin to test the genuineness of a thing
b. I want us this morning, to put everything we have ever been taught under the microscope of the word, and test its soundness.
A. Christianity seeks for ministry - Religion is suspicious and fault finding
1. While Jesus was in prayer, seeking the fathers will, the Pharisee was peeking into windows, looking for women in compromising positions.
2. We say prayer is a weapon, but far too often I act otherwise.
If we spent more time praying for folks, instead of trying to line them up….
a. How many times do I discuss someone with another instead of getting alone with God, asking for the gracing to respond as he would.
b. As I journal out my conversations with God about a problem I am having with another, without exception, he directs the changes that is needed to myself.
c. READ several of my journal entries
B. Religion looks at the sin - Christianity sees the person
1. The Pharisees, the sin-looker-for-ers- saw the glaring sin, and failed to see
a marred child of God before them.
a. Have you ever been in the presence of someone who looked questionable, and questioned their Christianity, only to find out later, the great deliverance God had brought to them?
You did not detect the life of God in them because you were looking for death (sin).
b. I saw a young man at a Wayne Watson concert worship with an open, unashamed, worship, while us ordered- well mannered Christians sat in our pews, and would not undignified ourselves as he had done.
c. Jesus said, Don’t judge what you see ON the outside of a person, but what you see INSIDE of them, issues of the heart & spirit.
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24
2. Christianity, the sin-looker-thru-ers-
a. They are not indifferent to sin, they see a person, created in the image of God, that if restored spiritually, would again bear the image of their heavenly father.
b. They are like Jesus, looking beyond the fault and seeing the real need, a soul in need of regeneration- being made new again in God.
C. Religion destroys those it disagrees with - Christianity restores them!
1. The ends justifies the means to those who are religious and not spiritual.
a. I have seen people walk all over scriptures to supposedly enforce one
Maybe they are worried a certain person is bringing sin into the church. They go after that person with a vengeance, absolutely violate scripture after scripture to do so.
b. We become imbalanced when we hate the evil more than we love the good.
1. Many of us are loyal to our notions/ideas of what the scriptures are saying, How
loyal are we to what the word is really saying?
2. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:39-40
a. The scriptures have life only as long as Life Himself is breathing on them.
Logos (word) must become Rhema (spoken word) for them to have real power and life.
b. Many are the times Jesus had to explain the scriptures, parables for them to understand them