HAVING THE MIND OF CHRIST: THE PROPER DISTINCTION BETWEEN RELIGION AND THE GOSPEL
APOSTLE GILBERT KARUZA
When people work, they earn wages. It can’t be considered a free gift, because they earned it. Romans 4:4 TPT
If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift. Romans 4:4-5 MSG
Religion is the anti-thesis of the Gospel. It is the invention of man and no matter what its creed, tenet or label may be, it is basically man’s vain attempt to secure the favour and approbation of God by a system of merit established on works. These are the varieties of rule-based religions which we are all acquainted with.
No matter the name of the religion, the focus as well as the pressure to perform is on you: what you should do or not do and how often you should do it or not.
Religion places man under the obligation of trying to pay his dues to God in order to earn salvation. Its modus operandi is “do good and God is glad, do bad and God is mad”
Religion operates out of performance which makes the attempt of placing God in man’s debt due to good works. The utter failure of such a system is that God will never be indebted to any man. When God gives, He gives and refuses to allow His gifts to be paid for; for no one has ever been qualified to pay the price in the first place.
The harder you work for salvation in religion, the greater you go into debt. It leads to pride when you succeed and to despair when you fail. It ultimately leads to slavery either way because it becomes all about you and what you must do to establish your standing before God. In the end, it leaves you either robbed of all spiritual initiative due to your failures or deluded into thinking that you have established for yourself a position before God by your temporary successes.
In the collection of all varieties of religion, God is presented as relating with the adherent through a meritorious system. Your deeds are weighed in God’s scales and He evaluates your merits.
The Gospel is grace to the undeserving. The God and Father of Jesus Christ does not relate with you through scales but through the cross. Which will it be: the scales of religion or the cross of Christ?
There are basically two options in the world, two systems. One is based on human achievement and the other is based on divine accomplishment; one says you must earn your salvation by your own works, the other says salvation is a gift fully secured without your merit. One involves achieving by trying; the other involves believing by trusting. One involves staking your life, personal wellbeing and eternal destiny on yourself and your capacity to perform.
The other involves unreservedly staking your life and eternal destiny on the perfection of Jesus Christ. These two options are diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive. They are unable to both be true at the same time; they are incompatible and can never meet. Which of the two will you receive?