If you stop drinking, smoking, doing drugs, having sex outside of marriage and start doing these other things...then I will love you.
Redemption says, God does love you he has loved you in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus....while we were still sinners he died for us. Because God loved us first we can love him.
Religion is like this...
A father saying to his daughter:
Sweet heart, here's a list of things you need to do for me. If you do them I will be your daddy and I will love you. And if you don't do them I won't love you and I won't be your daddy.
God looks at his children and says...I love you! Therefore love me and obey me! I am your daddy, my commands are good. I'm here to protect and defend you.
Religion says, that the world is filled with two kinds of people....GOOD people and BAD people. How do you know the good people? Well, they are like me of course. The bad people..they're not like me.
Redemption teaches...there are two kinds of people...Repentant and unrepentant. Because all people are bad.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
God looks down on the world and sees bad people and Jesus Christ.
Religious people don't get it...they look at the world and say or they're not good people.
Religious people are the ones who murdered Jesus Christ!
Jesus goes to the most jacked up, the sexually immoral, the prostitutes, the alcoholics, the thieves...and he says you're sinners! And they say totally can you help us? Can you come over to our house for dinner we're totally jacked up we need help!
Jesus goes and says the same thing to the religious people...and they say you have a demon in you, you're an evil doer! We're good guys they're bad guys! How can you hangout with the bad guys? You're not a good guy you're not like us! You broke our rules. We're going to kill you.
Religious people care all bout your birth. Did ya grow up in a christian family? Did ya go to a christian school? Did ya go to awanas? Did ya? Did ya go to a christian college? Did ya win the Bible trivia bowl? Do ya know anything in king james? Do you know all the worship songs? Did ya sing "this little light of mine let it shine" as a kid? Did ya?
Being born into a christian family, having a mom and dad that love Jesus, not a problem if you love Jesus. If not its only cuts in the line to hell. It's really no benefit at all. Because religion cares about your birth.
Redemption cares about your new birth. That's what redemption is about. A guy comes to Jesus..What do I need to do? Jesus says you were born, you've been physically alive, but you're spiritually dead. You need to be born again. You need to be spiritually born again. God needs to be your father, church needs to be your family, men and women who love God need to be your brothers and sisters, you need a new life, you need a new start, you need to be born again, you need a new birth.
It's not did you come from a good family? It's have you been born again?
Religion tells you it's all about what you do! So do this, do this, do this! Don't do that, don't do that, don't do that! The problem is usually the rules aren't in the bible they are making them up as they go. Just because you own a Bible doesn't mean you get to keep writing it. Religious people love to make long lists of rules...check..check..check. They say it's about what you do and don't do.
Redemption says it's not about what you do, it's not about what you don't do, it's about what Jesus has done. That's what it's all about.
Religion says, do this, do this, do this. No, Jesus goes to the cross and says what? It's finished. Jesus is God. He lived the life we could never live. He died the death we should have died and on the cross he says it's finished. It's all done. There's nothing for you to do to be redeemed. I've done everything. Trust me.
Religion NEVER leads to joy. Or humility. Because religion makes a long list of rules that aren't in the Bible. If you obey them you are an arrogant self righteous jerk. You think you're better than everyone. If you're honest you realize you don't even play by your own rules and you're a total hypocrite. And then you get totally depressed. How many of you have lived this life? I'm not good enough, I've tried hard, I'm not perfect, maybe God doesn't love me, maybe there's no hope for me, I've tried religion and I just can't do it.
I don't drink, or smoke, or chew, or cuss, I'm a Godly person! No, you're filled with pride. That's what got Satan kicked out of heaven. Pride is not a virtue it's a vice.
God doesn't want us to be proud or depressed, desperate or hopeless. He wants us to have a humble joy. Religion only leads to pride. I did it! Dispare. I can't!
It NEVER leads to Jesus. It never leads to humility. I'm a sinner. I didn't save myself. I didn't redeem myself. I'm not the hero of my life.
Jesus is my hero. Jesus is my redeemer.
He leads to joy. God blesses me. God has good things for me. If I walk with him whether it's a difficult season or a blessed season God will give me Joy.
I paraphrased part of a redeeming ruth sermon. This is one of my favorite topics that Mark Driscoll discusses. I really get fired up about this too! I'll post the video in case you want to watch the whole thing.
Your words are my food and your breath my wine. You are everything to me.