Saturday, June 29, 2019

Christianity is About Relationship, Not Rules

Some people shy away from Christianity because they think it's all about following a list of rules for no real reason. They have a false notion that God sits up in Heaven with a list of rules for us to follow and we fail to follow them all perfectly, we aren't good enough for God.  Christianity is not all about rules.  Christianity is about relationship, a relationship with Jesus.

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The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Free - It's About A Relationship, Not Rules - June 23, 2019 (Message) from Christ Place Church on Vimeo.

Our Bible passage for today is Galatians 4:4-20. 
You can read the entire passage here at Bible Gateway.

Christianity is About Relationship

3 Points from My Pastor from the Video 

Be sure to read all the way through to the end of this post.

Rules will never give you freedom.  They will keep you in bondage.  When we live by the false notion that we are bound by a set of rules, it is called legalism.

1.  Legalism will rob you of freedom, joy, and love.  Legalism is a joy killer and a grace killer.

2. Legalism leads to pride, arrogance, and deception. 

Legalist are very defensive, mostly because they've made Christianity about themselves.  Legalists like to be right. 
 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. - Proverbs 27:6
3.  Legalism will stunt your spiritual growth.

We need to remember that Jesus doesn't love you more than someone else just because you follow the rules.

Christianity is About Relationship, Not Rules

My Additional Comments

I feel like I need to clarify something here, because it would be easy to interpret this post as if I am telling you that we don't have to obey God's Word.  That is not what I'm saying and that is not what my pastor is saying in the video.  God gave us His Word so that we can get to know Him.  When we read the Bible, we become intimately familiar with the heart of God and the fulfillment of His plan and promise in Jesus Christ.  When you choose to become a child of God, you will need to read the Bible.  You will need to get involved in a Bible believing, Bible teaching church.  You will need to seek out relationships that will hold you accountable so that you can build one another up within the body of Christ.  When we choose to follow Jesus, we naturally WANT to live in such a way that brings honor to Him.  Reading God's Word makes us aware of His plan for our lives.  His Word guides us so that we will live lives that honor God.

When we put our faith and trust in Christ, we are adopted sons and daughters.  My pastor has shared that he has always told his children that a slave obeys because he has to, but a child obeys because he wants to.

Paul tells us in Romans:
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 1:1-7

In John 14, Jesus says to his disciples, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."  Jesus goes on to explain the role of the Holy Spirit in those who believe in Him.  

He tells His disciples in verse 21, "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” - Read John, chapter 14, in its entirety here at Bible Gateway.

Here are other New Testament verses which explain why true believers, not bound by rules, will have a natural desire to follow Jesus' examples and His commands. 
And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. - 2 John 1:6

Who will render to each person according to his deeds:  to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. - Romans 2:6-8

But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” - Luke 11:28
Blessed are those who hear God's Word and keep it.
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As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance. - 1 Peter 1:14

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. - James 1:25

You can learn more about what it means to be a Christ-follower and how you can become a Christ-follower here.
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Read all posts in the Galatians Bible study series here.

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