Summary: Being religious for the sake of self-worth is detestable to God because God looks at the heart.
Please grab a Bible. This is how God directly speaks to us. Let’s start by looking at the Gospel of Luke chapter 21:1-4...
Giving money to the church is the religious thing to do isn’t it? But what can go wrong with doing a religious thing??
Being religious for the sake of self-worth is detestable to God. Why? – because God looks at the heart. Being religious without a real faith in God is meaningless. Let us take a moment to quiet our hearts before the Lord and make a commitment to have faith in what God has to say to us today. Pray quietly right where you are for a moment……
Being religious without a real faith in God is meaningless. But let us remember that faith without works is dead! God talks about faith and religion with the Israelites in the Letter to the Romans. Let us listen to what God has to say and learn biblical principles to apply to our lives. Turn your Bibles to Romans 10. Read along with me starting with Rom. 9:30….
Romans 9:32 sets up, what God has to say in Romans 10 to the Israelites. The problem with the people of Israel is that they pursued righteousness with God by works, not by faith. Faith is the key to being right with God! But can one really be right with God by just having faith in general? Can one just say, “I have faith, so I am right with God??”
Faith can not be blind! Righteous faith must be based on God’s Word!
The Israelites can say they have faith but God says they didn’t because they stumbled over the rock they were to trust.
And who is the rock they were to trust in??
Jesus Christ is the rock!
We can then state the end of Romans 9 to read: The one who trusts in (have faith in) Jesus Christ will never be put to shame! This is really an incredible truth that we all need! There will be many times in life when we will be very disappointed, either to our own wrongdoing or others. Pain and hurts will happen in life! But again, if we completely put our faith in Jesus Christ, in God’s eyes, He will never put us to shame!
And so, this is the major problem with the Jews; even though they are God’s Chosen People, and they may be working towards pleasing God, without faith in Jesus Christ they are still eternally judged! Romans 10 gives a commentary on this truth. Let us take a closer look at the main points.
Again at the beginning of Romans 10, God through the Apostle Paul states how much God loves the people of Israel; we read in Romans 9 that the Apostle Paul was willing to die for the sake of the salvation of the people of Israel. Paul loved Israel; but again more importantly, God loves Israel! What was the problem with Israel? Look again at v2 of Romans 10; the people of Israel were zealous for God but they refused to accept (to know) the truth.
You know, there is knowing and there is truly knowing. For example, I know there is such a thing as evolution, but I don’t have to accept it! I can know something but not really believe it! You know, the evolutionists, in spite of the many missing links, will preach evolution not creation because they don’t really want to believe in a God!
Now look again at v3-4…….
Not only did the Israelites not accept the truths about Jesus Christ, they sought righteousness on their own!
The Israelites who did not have faith in Jesus Christ were self-righteous, not God righteous! Righteousness from God only comes from belief in Jesus Christ not by proclaiming one’s self righteous!
Is the greatest commandment to love ourselves??
The greatest thing we can do is to love God by giving ourselves to Him!!
Verses 5-10 tells us then of 2 ways of looking at being righteous with God:
1. try to be righteous by works (obeying the Law).
2. be righteous by faith (confess and believe in Christ)!
And which one will God accept as the only way to be right with Him?
Verses 11-13 give us the answer……
Yes, God chose the people of Israel and gave them His Law, but God gave Jesus Christ to them and to everyone for the only way to be with God!
These truths from God can be illustrated by the following figures……….
Most Religions of the world are man’s way of trying to reach a Holy God; doing works to try and be right with God; and of course none of man’s work, none of man’s religion, will ever reach the Holy God because man is stained with sin.