The Deception of Religion

November 22, 2020

        Text:  1 Timothy 4:1-5

 

 

Some will fall away from THE FAITH

      They will no longer trust in the work of Christ but insist that

             what they do is what makes them righteous before God.

 

      The deception of religion is that: 

            Man can decide what makes us righteous.

 

The False Path of Religion

      Recognized by:

            The “Rules” of right behavior

            Asceticism or Licentiousness

            Comparing oneself to others

            Judging the behaviors and practices of others

            A spirit of division and criticism

 

The Signs of Religious Deception

      It seeks to alter, corrupt or pervert what the Word of God says.

      Practitioners are hypocrites, demanding the practice of a

             righteousness that they do not fulfill themselves.

      They have a seared conscience, no longer able to recognize

            their own sin and error. 

 

Footnotes:

Revelation 22:18-19 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the

prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the

plagues that are written in this book;  and if anyone takes away from

the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from 

the tree of life and [a]from the holy city, which are written in this book.

 

The Christian Jews in Jerusalem were zealous for the Law and sought

torequire adherence to Jewish legalism among the Gentile Christians. (Acts 21)

 

Those who insist on “keeping the Law,” (whether Jews or Funda-mentalists), diminish the work of Christ. (Hebrews 7-10)

 

Ephesians 4:17-20  So I say this and affirm in the Lord, that you are to no longer walk just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their minds, 

being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God

because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of

their heart;  and they, having become callous, have given themselves

up to indecent behavior for the practice of every kind of impurity with

 greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way.

 

Hold Fast to THE FAITH and Be Thankful

      Our righteousness is NOT determined by our actions.

      We have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ as a gift of     
            grace.

      We are not to be enslaved to the religious laws of man.

      We are free to enjoy all that God has created within His limits.

 

Our Freedom in Christ

      Everything that God has made is good.

      Nothing created by God is to be rejected:

      It must be received with gratitude

      It must be true to the teachings of the Word

      It must be prayerfully considered

      It must be lovingly practiced

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