What is your religion based on?

There are many religious beliefs in our world. How do you know which belief is the right one? How do you know if you are on the right path trusting in the right plan? The Apostle Paul gives us a clear picture of two distinct plans, one is right, and one is wrong.

Read today’s text in the NLT and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you.

Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says? The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife. The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise. These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law that enslaved them. And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia, because she and her children live in slavery to the law. But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother. As Isaiah said, “Rejoice, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into a joyful shout, you who have never been in labor! For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband!” And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac. But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit. But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman. So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 4:21 – 5:1 (NLT)

There is a kind of religion that seems so right because it is so “religious”, so full of “righteous rules”. But God’s plan of salvation rests upon His promise and His ability to keep His word rather than our ability. The famous preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, “The better legalist a man is, the surer he is of being damned; the more holy a man is, if he trusts to his works, the more he may rest assured of his own final rejection and an eternal portion with Pharisees.”   Such hard words, but so true!

Pastor Mike