Lk 13:10-17 tells of Jesus entering a church, and then how He heals a woman who has been crippled for 18 years. Then one of the leaders of the church tells Him off, saying, “We don’t do that sort of thing in our church services”!… Jesus says, “If church isn’t to bring God’s healing to one of His dear daughters, then what on earth is it for?”….
“Religion” is “the way we do things” (our tradition), which we believe is “the right thing”, and that we will only get what is good in life, and approval from others and God, if we do things in this way.
The Christian Gospel is that God makes helpless sinners right – forgiven – by His gift of grace alone, and that all who believe and repent receive God’s approval and eternal reward. This then enables any person to live a new life in joyful thanksgiving and obedience to God.
The problem that Jesus found in the church in Luke 13 is where Christians impose religion upon the Gospel, and suffocate it. This squeezes the life out of people, and keeps them captive to brokenness; this squeezes the life out of the church, and cripples us. At times all Christians fall into this way of operating; I fall into this way of operating.
The wind of the Gospel is always busting to blow afresh; suck it in!… Ahhhh!!!
Grace and Cheers, Jonathan.