Difference Between RELIGION and CHRISTIANITY
There is a great difference between RELIGION and CHRISTIANITY. Many are GOING TO CHURCH but few are GOING DOWN THE ROAD WHICH LEADS TO LIFE (Matthew 7:13-14). Many name the Name of Christ (2 Tim. 2:19) and claim to be Christians but few understand what a Christian really is.
Many are RELIGIOUS but few are RIGHT WITH GOD. May God help us to understand the difference between RELIGION and true CHRISTIANITY as set forth in the Word of God, the Holy Bible. Read on..........
1. RELIGION: "Salvation is something I must do. I must somehow earn or gain salvation by the way I live." CHRISTIANITY: "Salvation is something only God can do. Salvation is of the is of the LORD!" (Eph. 2:8-9; Jonah 2:9).
2. Religion is summed up in one word: DO--man trying to DO different things to please God and earn His favor. Christianity is summed up in one word: DONE--Christ died on the cross to save sinful man (John 19:30).
3. The religious man is busy "working" (doing good works) in order to be saved.
The saved person is "not working" (Rom. 4:5) but is RESTING in the finished work of the cross.
4. RELIGION: Depends on TRYING. CHRISTIANITY: Depends on TRUSTING (Acts 16:31)
5. RELIGION has a Work to Do which is never done (How can anyone work well enough and hard enough to earn salvation?) CHRISTIANITY has a Word to Believe (1 Pet. 1:25) about a Work that is already done (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
6. In religion, man hoping to save himself. In Christianity, God has already saved the believer from sin (1 Tim. 1:15)
7. RELIGION is man trying to BRING HIMSELF TO GOD (by human effort, good works, ritualism, traditionalism, sacraments, etc.). CHRISTIANITY is Christ BRINGING MAN TO GOD on the basis of what He did for mankind on the cross (1 Peter 3:18).
8.Religion is man trusting his own good works to be saved (Titus 3:5). Christianity and Salvation is man trusting the good work which the Lord Jesus did on the cross to save him (Rom. 3:22-26).
9.A religious ritual. Christianity is a real relationship (John 17:3)
10. Religion follows rules. In Christianity believers enjoy the life of God in them (John 6:47; 10:10).
11. Religions says, "I must reform my life and turn over a new leaf". Christianity says, "You must be born again" (John 3:7).
12. Religion depends on doing Something. Christianity depends on knowing the Father and Jesus Christ. (John 17:3)
13. Religion is man trying to please God in the wrong way (Rom. 8:8--"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God"). In Christianity God is already pleased with a Christian because He has the faith of Christ. (Hebrews 11:6--"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him").
14. Religion seeks to earn God's favor by works. Christianity is receiving God's favor by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8 and see Eph. 1:6).
15. Religion says, "I can work my way to heaven and earn my salvation" (Proverbs 4:12 teaches that There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.") . Christianity says, "I could never live well enough to earn my way to heaven and salvation. Christ had to pay the price for my salvation (1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
16. In Religion, "Salvation is something that a person must earn." Christianity believes that "Salvation is a free gift" (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 4:10).
17. In Religion, the sinner sees himself as good (Luke 18:11-12). Christianity provokes the unsaved person to see himself as sinner in need of a Savior (Luke 18:13).
18. The religious man compares himself with others (Luke 18:11). The saved man in Christianity sees himself as God sees him (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 53:1-3; Rom. 3:10-12).
19. Religion promotes TRUSTING SELF (Luke 18:9). Christianity promotes TRUSTING CHRIST alone for salvation (Act 4:12)
20. Religion promotes BOASTING IN SELF (Luke 18:11-12). Christianity promotes BOASTING IN THE LORD (1 Cor. 1:29-31; Eph. 2:9).
21. A religious person says, "I have kept the law! I have done that which God has required" (Matthew 19:16-20). A Christian says, "I have broken the law but I am trusting the One who came into this world to save guilty lawbreakers" (1 Tim. 1:15). He fulfilled the law on my behalf(Rom 10:4; Matthew 5:17-20, Rom 8:3-4).
22. A religious man trying to earn his way to heaven by works may be likened to a man trying to swim from New York to London by his own efforts and energy and strength. He will never make it! In Christianity, the person who is saved by faith is likened to a man getting on a ship in New York and trusting that ship to bring him safely to London. This man simply rests upon the ship and lets the ship do all the work.
23.The religious man is seeking to establish his own righteousness (Rom. 10:3). In Christianity, the saved man is satisfied with the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ in Him. (Romans 10:9-10; Rom 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:21).
24. Religion is pictured in Genesis 3 by the fig leaves that Adam and Eve made for themselves--a terrible covering (Gen. 3:7 and see Isaiah 64:6). Christianity or Salvation is pictured in Genesis 3 by the coats of skin which God provided to man by way of the shedding of blood--a perfect covering (Gen. 3:21; Rev. 19:8).
25. CAIN'S RELIGION--"I bring to God the labor of my own hands" (Gen. 4:3). ABEL'S FAITH/CHRISTIANITY--"I bring to God a blood sacrifice. An innocent substitute must die to save me" (Gen. 4:4).
26. In religion people are hoping to be saved by good works (a false hope). In Christianity people are saved unto good works by God's grace (Eph. 2:10).
27. Religion teaches that good works are the cause of salvation. Christianity and the Bible teach that good works are the result of salvation.
28. Religion says, "Good works are those things that a person does to be saved." Christianity and the Bible say, "Good works are those things that a saved person does" (James 2:14-26).
29.Religion says, "Christ is my Example and Teacher. I try to follow Him and live as He lived." Christianity says, Christ is my Savior and Substitute. I am trusting Him and only Him to save me" (Luke 23:40-43).
30. In Religion people say, ["I hope I will be saved." ; "I think I will be saved." ; "I feel that I will be saved, maybe."] In true Christianity a person says, "I KNOW I am saved right now and I have the life of God in ME " (1 John 5:13-"These things have I written unto you that believe on to name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life").