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DOCTRINE QUESTION 40
Is Christianity a religion that replaces Judaism?
To begin with, let me explain what the word "religion" means. It is the external part of any form of worship and service of God or any false god.
The Jewish religion was established by God in the Old Testament It was all external. It had it's visible tabernacle and temple with it's sacrifices, offerings, feasts, Sabbaths, holy days, priests, etc. It contained nothing for the inner of man. It was sealed by the outward rite of circumcision. It was only outward. Jesus pronounced eight "woes" against the religion of the Pharisees. (Matthew 23). He said they "loved their titles." (Matthew 23:7-10) They "were not entering heaven and were hindering others." (Matthew 23:13). They were "outwardly clean, but not inwardly." (Matthew 23:25). "...how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matthew 23:33). Religion is only associated with the Jewish nation and not Christianity. James alone speaks of it in James 1:26-27 in a favorable context. He writes to the twelve tribes in James 1:1. In his remarks he uses it in a true sense. It is the out working of the Spirit within. Religion works from the outside-in, Christ works from the inside-out. Christ came to give life, not religion. (John 10:10). He gave His life that we might have life within. Christianity is not what men have made it, but peace and rest within. To know your sins are gone, and that you have eternal life, is more than religion.
What about you, Dear Reader, do you have that peace and assurance within? You need more than religion to get you to heaven. If that were enough, Christ need not to have died. "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by law, then Christ is dead in vain." Galatians 2:21. Don't seek another way. Come to Christ today, before it is too late.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen