Scripturally Based Answers For life's Questions
Answer-RELIGIOUS Versus RIGHTEOUS
Most of the people in the world are religious. Why is that? I think there is a misperception about religion, what it is and what it does. Generally, people think religion is an expression or manifestation of people’s connection to God, but that is not what it is. Religion is an expression of self-righteousness, a pursuit of God’s righteousness, or a way to feed the inner longings and the lust of the flesh. Some are religious simply to appear good and upright. It is mostly about appearance in the sight of others to them.
Click-II Timothy 3:5 Jesus spoke to the religious Pharisees and said that they “appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness” Click-Matthew 23:27. Their religion is their showpiece, their self-worth, their status in the community. It is driven by pride. Others see a need for God’s righteousness in their lives and believe they will somehow obtain it through religious practices and joining some church, denomination or people group. They feel a little more righteous every time they attend a service, participate in a righteous or ritual deed, or dress and behave a certain way. Others are religious because it makes them feel good, or it just seems like a good thing to do. They pray before meals and in the morning and evening; they look favorably toward other religious people, and they stand up for some moral standard.
It seems good, but it is only natural. It is like Galatians chapter 5 describes, even religious activity is part of the lust of the flesh. Our sin-tainted flesh wants to be part of and participate in religion. God never established religion as a means whereby people could meet Him, get to know Him and please Him. Religious people often do the right things from a practical standpoint, but they are lacking the relationship with God. Many of them even talk to God, but they do not hear His voice; they do not sense His leading, and they do not see the fact that they stand totally condemned in His sight.
Click-II Corinthians 5:17 In the next few verses, it explains that the saved believer is reconciled to God through Jesus Christ and then in verse 21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” I have typically asked people if they would consider themselves just as righteous as God. I have never had anyone say, “Yes”, but when Christ is in us, and we are in Him, we have God’s righteousness. Righteousness is imputed—placed within us—when we acknowledge our sin and condemnation before God, turn from religion and self-seeking goodness, and receive Him as our only hope. It is received, not obtained. Then the life of faith begins.
It is largely a matter of conviction versus preference. A question one must ask is, why do I do what I do? Do I do what I do because I want something, am I seeking to attain something, or obtain something? Or, do I do what I do because I got something? Conviction is a response to something working within that cannot be denied or ignored. Through salvation, the Spirit of God and the righteousness of God was imputed into me, and it motivates me and empowers me to live holy, justly, and uprightly. I do it because of what I got. The other is seeking it through acts, participation and membership in some religious organization. Seeking to obtain it through human effort. Why do you do what you do?