Thursday, April 03, 2008

Real uses for plastic fruit

No matter how hard we try to do it ourselves, only the Holy Spirit can produce Spirit fruit. With that truth in mind, Vicki Gaines has written a beautiful article on religion and relationship:
One can only produce so much synthetic fruit before realizing what a crock religion really is. But this disillusionment can move a heart towards Christ. After all, synthetic fruit = all our striving to serve God, to earn (or stay) in His good favor. But religious rules are a pain. When we mess up, we're loaded with guilt and unsure about our standing with God. If we manage to perform well, suddenly we're puffed up with pride, looking down on those around us. Kind of a no-win situation, this business of religion.

Yes, religion has always been man's attempt to reach God, whether through duties, disciplines, or rituals. But God reached out to us when He sent His Son to pay for our sin. He made provision; He closed the gap. No longer are we bound by religious obligations. We don't have to fret about our standing with God. When we belong to Him, Jesus Christ becomes our peace, our rest, our Life.

But whether we have this living, breathing relationship with Christ or not, anyone can be religious. Anyone can go to church, read a bible, hang out with Christians, or follow the moral teachings of Christ. Jesus is a pretty good role model, after all - just ask your local Buddhist, Mormon, or New Ager. But doing religious things is not the same as knowing Jesus.


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