Religion is the service and adoration of God or some type of God, expressed in forms of worship, the profession and/or practice of religious beliefs, the service and practice that stems from conviction. A religion can be right or wrong, sincere or insincere, true or false, full and rewarding or vain and empty, depending who or what people are worshiping. In Acts 17:22 the people were very religious, but worshiping idols. In Matt.15:7-9 the Jewish leaders were also very religious, but had made the word of God of no effect by their traditions. In Col.2:20-23 Paul points out that many were following things that had the appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion.
Many religious people who think Jesus came to make people religious miss the point. Jesus did not come to make people religious. They were already religious as the above scriptures reveal. Jesus came to expose the falseness, misconceptions and hypocrisy of the religions then existing, and establish God’s true religion, i.e., Christianity, and in doing so gave instructions how true religion (Christianity) is to be practiced Jn.4:23-24.
With the above said, what does Christianity mean to you? How has it changed you? The true test comes, not in profession 2.Tim.3:5 “having a form of godliness, but denying its power,” but in practice. Has Christianity made a difference in your life, worship and service to God. It made a difference in the blind man of Jn.9:24-38. Through contact with Jesus his life was changed from sinner to believer. It changed the life of the Eunuch in Acts 8:29-39 from just being religious to become a true Christian. Afterward he went on his way rejoicing. In Acts 2:36-47 we read of 3000 Jews who turned from their former religion, Judaism, to become Christians praising God and finding favor with the people.
So, what difference has it made in your life? Let’s notice what it ought to do. Christianity ought to mean purity of life. Jesus said, “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” Matt.5:7. Notice the change of the Corinthians. Before they became Christians, they were fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners. But after obeying the gospel and being baptized Acts 18:8, having been washed, sanctified and justified, they no longer practiced these things 1.Cor.6:9-11. When you became a Christian you went through a spiritual makeover, which gave you a new start in life as a new creation and one of God’s special people 2.Cor.5:17; Tit.2:11-14. Having become a Christian you should no longer live like the world, but ever striving to be conformed to the image of Christ Rom.8:39; 1.Pet.2:21-24. Has Christianity done that for you? If it has, it will be reflected in how you live day by day. The difference will be in the way you think Phil.4:8, in what you say Eph.4:29; and do Phil.2:12-15; Jas.1:26-27. Has Christianity done this for you?
Christianity should give you a new sense of direction? Many live only for the present. Their lives are directed toward the things of this world. They want a good life, good health, good home and family and security. These things are good and worthwhile, but only for this world, they are not eternal. They will perish with time. Most people, seeking these things give little thought for where they are headed after death. The Christian knows this life is temporary, so he looks in a different direction. He looks upward to the things that are above, the things that are eternal Col.3:1-3; Phil.3:19-21; Heb.11:10-16. 2.Cor.4:18. Which way are you looking? You can’t keep looking back Lk.9:62 for you have left this world behind Jn/15:19; Jas.4:4; 1.Jn.2:15-17. Keep looking beyond and above.
Christianity should continue to challenge you? Do you remember the newness you felt when you heard the call of God to come out of the world 2.Cor.6:17-18; and after having been born again you were now part of God’s family ready to start your new life as one of His special people 1.Pet.2:9-10? When you did this, whether you were fully aware, you accepted the challenge to become better than the world around you Matt.5:20, 47. The world was no longer going to be allowed to set the standard for your life 2.Cor.10:12; Rom.12:1-2. Has this newness of life worn off? Sadly, this is the case with some. We have too many “usters” and “oughters” who think they have it made. So they just drift along. They have forgotten to whom they belong and serve 1.Cor.6:19-20; Rom.6:16 and why they had been saved to start with. Their original love for the Lord has grown cold and has been replaced by complacency and mediocrity Rev.3:16-17. They claim to be Christians yet they give no more, attend no more, pray no more, study no more than many in the denominational world. Christianity no longer challenges them to be better than the surrounding world. Is this the case with you? If so, it is time you made some changes in your practices. Practice your religion with conviction and purpose Phil.3:12-14; Acts 11:23. What kind of example are you setting for other members, family, children, friends, etc.) Lk.6:46; Rom.6:16.
Christianity should mean victory over this evil world. Christianity is the only religion that promises a triumphant victory over the world 1.Jn.5:4; 1.Cor.15:55-57. Christianity is a paradox. One gains victory over the world, not be force but by surrender of self to Christ Matt.16:25. One learns to live by dying Rom.6:6-7; Gal.2:20. With Christ we can defeat any foe Rom.8:31-37. Paul did not not fear the world, he had Christ to help him Acts 21:13; 2.Tim.4:7-8. Does Christianity mean these things to you. If not, why not?
If Christianity does not mean these things to you then you need to make some changes. You need to readjust your life and make sure Christ is really your Lord. If He is not your Lord He will not be your Savior Lk.6:46; Rom.6:16.