The Deception of Religion
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
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.
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