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The Dangers of Religion (5 of 47)
Many people see religion as the answer, but let me warn you that religion is the deception. There is a vast difference between religion and Christianity. Religion is man-centered. Christianity is God-Centered. Religion is ego-centric. Christianity is Christ-centric. Religion is man's attempt to reach God. Christianity is God's attempt to reach man. Religion is rules and regulations and ritual. Christianity is a relationship.
I. The Danger of Profession without Possession (2:17-24)
Paul here is speaking against the Jews who felt they would not go to hell because they were in the line of Abraham. The Jews had long since lost sight of the purpose of their unique divine calling, however, which was to be the channel through which "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 12:3). They had no desire to share their God-given truths and blessings with the rest of the world, much less be used by the Lord as the means through which He would draw all nations to Himself. Jonah's reluctance to preach in Nineveh because he feared they would believe in Go and be spared judgement, typified the attitude of many Jews toward Gentiles.
The Jews felt all these divine truths and blessings were something that they received because of some kind of merit. They felt this way not because of God's grace, but because of their own goodness. This gave them a superiority and pride. Instead of boasting in the greatness of their God and in His gracious revelation of Himself to them, they boasted in their own supposed greatness for having received it.
John Murray observed that such an attitude "demonstrates...how close lies the grossest vice to the highest privilege and how the best can prostituted to the service of the worst."
This attitude was something that the minor prophets spoke against constantly. The Jews felt that because of them being heirs of God's promise to Abraha ...
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