Placebo of Religion vs. True Belief
John 3:15-16 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
What does it mean for a soul to believe in Christ Jesus?
If you knew there was a treasure in your backyard that would solve all your problems and give you all you desire, what would your response be?
If someone told you that if you took a pill and it would bring perfect health to your body, but you wouldn’t see the affects until you die, what would your response be?
In the first scenario, you would go digging and seeking, wouldn’t you? In the second, you wouldn’t give it a second thought because what would health matter once you were dead?
The Bible tells us of the first scenario, if we truly believe in Christ (the Word of life, truth) then we will have abundant everlasting life. God will make our paths smooth, defeat our enemies, deliver us, heal us, and give us the mind of Christ. To abide in truth, which is love, is a powerful reality. There are MANY beautiful and powerful promises for those who truly trust in God. What’s our response to those powerful words? Do we see most people diligently seeking to know the truth and to discover the paths of life while forfeiting all else to find that priceless treasure? Matthew 13:45-46 Do we see people living out those promises of rest, peace, and rejoicing in all truth?
Placebo of Religion
Do people truly believe in Christ? Or a religion built around the Bible and an image of God? What do people’s actions reveal? James 2:19, 26 One is the true treasure, the other a placebo. A person’s actions testify to their beliefs. Most believe steadfastly in a religion, which crafts an image around God and what it means to be a godly person, while the treasure hunt for truth is largely neglected. 2 Timothy 4:3 Why the blindness when it comes to what it means to believe in Christ? James 2:19 People cling to religion; not Christ, which is a huge difference, yet this difference seems to go mostly unnoticed.
The path of life is narrow and few find it. Matthew 7:13-14 Communing directly with God and learning to hear His voice and obey leads to the path of life. Seems easy, but in a world of lies, it’s much harder than it appears, this is why few do it. A corrupted self-will governed by lies keep people blind from seeing the truth. It keeps them imprisoned by focusing on the wrong things and not the right ones. In deception, you don’t know you are deceived, that is the whole point. To satisfy the longing in their hearts for God, many people have mistakenly fallen for the placebo; they took the pill of religion. It comes to them as the way to God (and an easy way – Satan knows us well); just follow what someone tells you to do and think, instead of learning of God yourself. However, we reap what we sow. If we reap religion, empty promises await. If we reap righteousness and the presence of God that is what we experience. Hosea 10:12 What a glorious treasure to really dwell in the heart of God’s love.
The pill of religion is a dead end, literally. It’s the most damaging of situations, because people think it leads to life, but it doesn’t, thus they are worse off than before. When you think you’ve found, you stop seeking and the doors that would’ve led you to truth have been blocked. Further, the closer a religion is to the truth the more compelling and imprisoning. Yet, this falsity of religion goes unnoticed because the “testifying results of the truth” have been removed until you die and go to “heaven”; when only then are you righteous, only then do you have abundant life, and only then are you free from suffering and pain. When the results of the belief are removed, how do you know it’s the right belief? The Apostle Paul spoke of results. He talked of the kingdom of heaven within us and what that meant for our lives, right now.
Paul spoke about growing in righteousness. 1 Peter 1:2, 15 If we weren’t, then he said our beliefs were in vain, thus null and void. 1 Corin 15:2 When someone truly believes something it affects him/her to the core. If people believed in Christ and the paths of life, their lives and this world would be totally transformed because true life would be here. 2 Timothy 2:19 Conversely, religion makes excuses to make nil the proof of spiritual health. Suffering and afflictions are accepted as a way of life, not the death Christ delivers us from. When the “testifying results” are removed people can’t see it for the lie that it is. Thus, everything around them remains cloaked in death. Without the contrast of true life no one is the wiser.
God is in us and we in God if we are being transformed glory unto glory. 2 Corin 3:18 When we experience increasing peace, rest, loving kindness, joy, mercy, wisdom, and gentleness beyond ourselves and from our core, then we are growing in truth, in Christ. Then we believe. Do you see His growing righteous love in your soul that is a true transformation and not a forced self-will of goodness cloaked in hypocrisy? Have you received Christ’s testimony; His life of abundant grace, power, and transformation? John 3:33
People believe money brings about certain freedoms, necessities, and blessings in this life. They sacrifice, strive, effort, work and give much of their life to gain money to provide for themselves and their family. They believe money is what they need to get want they need, and their actions reflect that belief.
Do people believe in God like that? Do people give their lives to know Him in truth and spirit as He is, and desire above all to walk in His ways? Conversely, most find it easier to trust in other things other than God and very difficult to trust in God. As for God, they’ve boxed Him out of their lives by religion.
True belief in God is stifled in a world of lies. When we are imprisoned in darkness how do we see the light? How do we break free from the web of lies in our minds and know the truth of God in all purity, which we truly hunger for? You’ve seen that darkness in others; you’ve experienced it for yourself. What hope do we have for this world; if so few find the narrow way?
AMAZING HOPE, thanks to the grace poured out to us in Christ in these days. The ability to truly believe comes by the power of God’s spirit in us … which I’ll address next time, God willing.