Updated: Sep 2, 2021
I’m so tired of and frustrated with religion and religiosity—And groups and fellowships and leaders and pastors and dogmas and teachings and denominations and branches and doctrines and divisions that separate us from Christ and distance us from unity in Him and with each other.
1 Corinthians 3:4-5 (NASB)
4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?
5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
And each fellowship has its Laws and rules and advice on how to live and how to serve and how to please.
Works, works, works and more works.
Luke 10:40-42 (NASB)
40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
It’s a human tendency to want to do something in order to receive something in return.
We have been programmed that nothing comes for free. Even when we receive a gift we feel obligated to-at some point-give something of equal value in return so that we won’t be found owing.
John 6:28-29 (NASB)
28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
Salvation is different—Salvation is Free
Salvation is the gift of God because being sinful and fallen we have no possible way of purchasing salvation ourselves.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Salvation is the gift of God and it has been paid in full with the precious blood of the perfect Lamb of God, Yeshua the Messiah.
1 Peter 1:18-19 (NASB)
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
When we are born again we are translated from the kingdom of darkness into His glorious Kingdom of Light and we are accepted by God through Yeshua’s blood and we rest from our own works.
Hebrews 4:9-10 (NASB)
9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NASB)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
You must be born again
When you are born again from above the Lord will lead you in the good works he has prepared for you.
Hebrews 4:2 (NASB)
2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
You must be born again in order to enter a living relationship with the living God
Yeshua is the Bread of Life—He who eats will never hunger.
Yeshua is the Good Shepherd—Who leads us through green pastures and still waters.
Yeshua is the Giver of Living Waters—He who drinks will never thirst.
Yeshua is Lamb of God who takes away our sins.
Yeshua is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Yeshua is the Alpha and the Omega - The Beginning and the End.
Yeshua is the Way the Truth and the Life
Yeshua is the fulfilment of the law and the prophets.
Yeshua is our Sabbath day’s rest.
Yeshua is the resurrection and the life.
Yeshua tells us so clearly that He is everything for us. Everything.
Matthew 6:33 (NASB)
33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Do we not trust His words? Do we not have faith in His promises?
Is it too awesome for us to understand that He is risen; that He is alive and seated at the right hand of God making intercession for us?
What about the Spirit of Christ Who dwells in us? What about The Comforter Who teaches us and guides us and testifies of the works of Yeshua?
If in fact we are truly born again it follows that His Spirit dwells in us and that we belong to Him.
If we are not born again, we are still in our sins, alive in the old man in the flesh, His Spirit does not dwell in us and we have no part in Him.
Romans 8:9 (NASB)
9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
You may be religious. You may regularly attend a fellowship. You may fast and pray and read and attend or even teach Bible study groups. You may even be a leader or a pastor in your fellowship.
If you are not born again you have no part in Him.
Matthew 7:22-23 (NASB)
22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
John 3:1-3 (NASB)
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Are you truly born again?
Have you at some point in the past died to yourself that you may be raised with Yeshua in newness of life?
2 Timothy 2:11 (NASB)
11 It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
Romans 6:1-7 (NASB)
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
Galatians 3:1-3 (NASB)
1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Galatians 2:19-21 (NASB)
19 For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
Romans 7:1 (NASB)
1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?
Romans 7:4 (NASB)
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
Do we know these verses so well that they are so familiar that they have become meaningless and ineffective in our lives?
Or do we not know these verses at all because we do not read the scriptures for ourselves but would rather just listen to what our pastor or some teacher on Youtube tells us?
Acts 17:10-12 (NASB)
10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.
Read for yourselves and your Teacher the Holy Spirit will guide you and teach you.
John 16:13 (NASB)
13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
Let’s focus on the living Messiah. He is more than enough for us and we are more than conquerors in Him.
All this is not to say that we are not to learn from teachers and from each other. I am calling us to first of all know Yeshua.
Let’s seek Him and draw near to Him and He will draw near to us.
Let’s embrace the Godly, wonderful and supernatural truths we read about in Scripture.
Let’s follow Him and Him alone.
Let’s listen and recognise the voice of the Good Shepherd. He will give us discernment to recognise His voice and to discern true teaching.
Then and only then will our fellowship with other believers be based on truth. Then and only then will we have confidence to leave a fellowship group that teaches bad doctrine knowing that the Lord will lead us into fellowship with other believers in truth.
Don't be afraid to move on. The Lord is with you.
Luke 9:58 (NASB)
58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Even if you are in a fellowship with good, sound teaching, seek to develop relationships with other believers and meet regularly for prayer, study and worship in small groups. 20 For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Matthew 18:20 (NASB)
I admonish all of us to seek intimacy with Yeshua the living Messiah.