By Nassa Ouakoubo
They said to him, what must we do to do the works of God? Jesus answered them; the work of God is that you believe in him whom he has sent. (John 6:28, 29)
What is religion? It is the set of commands and efforts that man must do to reach God. It is the human sacrifice for God's approval. Notice in this verse that the essence of man is to want to do works to attract the attention of God. But how many works? Nobody knows. In any case, religion requires a lot of work on the part of man to be accepted, but as for Christ, he suggested a single work: faith in Him.
Religion swears by what man must do to have God's approval. In this merit system, he will never do enough. Some preachers preach that one must do this or that for God to be pleased with him, or that he must give more to be blessed more, or that he must forsake sin for God to hear his prayers. But all this is religion, for God cannot love man more than what He has done through Jesus' sacrifice. Religion is man who sacrifices himself for God, but Christianity is Christ (God) who sacrifices Himself for man.
As you read John 6:28, 29, you can see that Jesus has replaced religion by faith in His person. The Jews asked to do something to please God, but Jesus told them rather to believe in HIM. The Apostle Paul captured what Jesus said when he wrote the following:
For by grace you have been saved, through faith. And that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not by works, lest anyone should boast. (Eph. 2:8, 9)
See? What God has freely given to man, religion has stolen and retailed expensively. Jesus said, "it's free;? religion says that man must earn it by his work, his property, and his money. And then, when man accepts the offer of religion, it teaches that he must submit to the system, he has to succeed 100% and does not have a chance to fail. What deception! What wickedness! Read with me what the Bible says about that in James 2:10:
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles against one point is guilty of all.
Jesus ended the religion known as Law of Moses or any human effort to obtain God's favor. Rather, Jesus instituted the gospel of grace (Rom 10:4). In fact, the word, gospel, means good news. But then good news of what? This is the good news of what Jesus has done for man through the cross: for man to believe and become blameless before God. The good news does not talk about what man must do, but what is done by Jesus. This does not speak either of what is wrong in man?s life; otherwise it would not be called Good News. Instead, it talks about what is going well in his life, and what is going well in his life, that's what Jesus did for him.
We must turn ours backs to religion, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse..." (Gal 3:10), and rather we must attach ourselves to faith for it is written, "The just shall live by faith "(Rom 1:17).
The time has come when we must avoid religion in our lives. It constitutes a serious attack on our freedom, our prosperity in Christ, and the spread of the true gospel in the world. The fight for faith is our responsibility; let's preach it with determination, denouncing the preaching of another gospel, to preach the gospel without religion. So, multitudes will seize the gates of the kingdom!