Morning Musing: Matthew 6:1

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward with your Father in heaven.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This past Friday we talked about righteousness. I shared some of the thoughts I had first shared with our Bible study group here a couple of days before. The conclusion then was that righteousness is a status that is given to us by Christ when we place our faith in Him. We cannot achieve it on our own, and there is nothing we can do toward that end – and especially no religious deeds – that will change that. Well, if religious deeds can’t move us in the direction of righteousness, why bother doing them? More than that, why bother with religion in the first place? Who needs the Christian religion or any other religion when what we really need is just a relationship with Jesus? This morning, let me share a few more thoughts on the purpose and value of religion in light of the truth about righteousness.

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Digging in Deeper: James 1:26-27

“If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, his religion is useless and he deceives himself. Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

So, last time, we started out by spending some time looking at our culture’s struggles with the idea of religion. I told you that one of the common self-distinctions people often make when it comes to religious identity is that they are “spiritual, not religious” (SNR). People claim this identity because although they have been trained by either personal or impersonal experience or both to think poorly of religion, they don’t consider themselves secular or even merely agnostic. They just don’t like religion. For professed Christians who would claim this identity this is a real problem because they can’t grow well without the church and the church is a form of religion. As I asked before: What do we do with this? 

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