Disclaimer: I am not a theological expert. This is my views and understanding of faith. I am not interested in a theological debate. I can only speak on my relationship with God, not others.
I don’t believe in religion
I know what a weird thing for a Christian to say but hear me out. I don’t believe in religion. I did not have a church I belonged to much of my life. In fact, when I was a teen and had my first encounter with Jesus, I didn’t go to church. I went to a church for a few years when I was 7, 23, 34 and now I belong to a church.
So what happens when you believe in Jesus without religion? Your understanding comes from your prayer and bible study and not religion. So during that time, I had conversations with God throughout the day instead of reciting a prayer. God led me to Christians in my life because I was so anti-Church much of the time. Legalism is one of the things I dislike about religion and it’s true of most religions I think.
There are many religions in the world and they all have rules you need to follow to get to eternal life. Within Christianity there are many different types of churches such as Evangelism, Pentacostalism, and Catholicism to name a few. Many of them pushed the “Law” from the Old Testament and say if you don’t follow the Ten Commandments, you aren’t going to Heaven.
To truly follow the “Law” in what is known as legalism, you have to follow 600 some laws in Judaism to be right with God. This is not what Jesus taught. Jesus fulfilled the law through his living sacrifice making it so that it was no longer needed to have a relationship with God.
Christians who practice legalism depend on moral law (the law of the Old Testament) and not on personal religious faith ( a relationship with Jesus). This is where the guilt, shame, and fear came into faith. God loves us and wants only the best for us. When I realized that God was not like my abusive earthly father, it was a game changer. Now I see God as the loving father that he really. Even in the Old Testament it is written “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV
What does that mean? Well, it means what it says. Jesus came here on earth, made the ultimate sacrifice of his life to free us from sin and give us eternal life. If we follow his ways and believe in his truths, we will have eternal life.
When he died for our sins, he took sin away from us. I had a mature spiritual woman tell me that God only recognizes one sin and that is NOT believing in his son. The day you make Jesus your savior is the day that all sin is washed away. It was washed away 2000 + years ago. So yes, we ask God for forgiveness and vow to do better (repent) but in truth, whatever you did was already forgiven.
Does that mean we can do whatever we want without fear of repercussions? No. As your relationship with Jesus grows, you will grow and change throwing off the old ways and sins and putting on the new clothes that Jesus has given you. Just like when you fall in love with a man, you want to spend all your time with them, learn everything about them, and yes, over time, you will become more similar to them.
Love One Another
“The most important one, “ answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God the Lord is one. Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ‘There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 NIV
- Love the Lord Your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
- Love your neighbor as yourself
These commandments are about having a relationship first with God and then with everyone else and not about obeying a bunch of rules to get into Heaven. So when I say I love you regardless of your beliefs, it’s true and it always will be.
I sent out a Christian meme and I had a response from one man who said, “Thank you. I am a gay sinner. I love Jesus. I’m not sure I will go to Heaven but I sure am going to try.” I said to him: “I am a sinner too. (Not truly but in the eyes of a human being I am.) and Jesus loves you now as you are.” The important thing to note is that sin is sin. One is not worse than the other in God’s eyes.
I’m working really hard on asking the Lord for direction throughout the day. This post is the result of that. The most important thing from this post is that you can have a loving relationship with Jesus. That we all have sinned and one is not worse than the other. I want you all to know that I love you regardless of your beliefs and I just wanted to share my own beliefs. I hope you have a blessed day. You can read about the Health Benefits of Forgiveness here. Leave comments, questions, and prayer requests below.