Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jesus + X = Y

Jesus, plus X, equals Y, where X is our religion, and Y is our idolatry.

X = Religion

I define religion as humanity’s efforts to get to get to God, to control God, to manipulate God, or to please God by its own efforts, attributes, personality, gifts, or works.

Y= Idolatry

The basic and first definition of idol worship, according to Encarta, is the worship of idols or false gods. Idolatry is also defined as extreme admiration. Idolatry, or extreme admiration, is excessive admiration or love shown for someone or something, and I would add “other than God” to the end of this definition.

What is wrong with the equation?

Anytime we put a plus sign after Jesus we are making a statement that God is not enough and we must add something to God to make God sufficient. If God must have something added to Himself, then God is not adequate on His own. If God needs something outside of Himself, then He would cease to be God. Religion, works and/or keeping the law, and false gods, inferior gods, or idols, have little or nothing to do with Jesus the true God. In fact, Jesus has done away with religion. He has freed us from the law, and bids us to smash our idols. This equation is no good. God has done the work! Jesus is all we need. Jesus is sufficient. Jesus = God.

Galatians 2:20-21

“Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.”

Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002, S. Ga 2:20-21

© 2010, Robbie Pruitt

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