La Mesa Adventist Community Church

4207 Spring Gardens Rd, La Mesa, CA, 91941-7964



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The differences between Religion and the Gospel of Christ.
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Pastor McGill compared Religion and the Gospel and how different the two are. The differences between irreligion or secularism and the gospel are easy to spot while the differences between religion and the gospel take some discernment. Review and discuss the Religion and Gospel Chart taken from Pastor Timothy Keller’s Book, Gospel in Life—How Grace Changes Everything. What are your thoughts?

The differences between Religion and the Gospel of Christ.
Religion:
* I obey; therefore I am accepted.
Gospel:
* I am accepted; therefore I obey.
 
Religion:
* Motivation is based on fear and insecurity.
Gospel:
* Motivation is based on grateful joy.
 
Religion:
* When circumstances in my life go wrong, I am angry at God or myself, since I believe that anyone who is good deserves a comfortable life.
Gospel:
* When circumstances in my life go wrong, I struggle, but I know all my punishment fell on Jesus and that while God may allow this for whatever purpose, He will exercise His Fatherly love within my trial.
 
Religion:
* When I am criticized, I am furious or devastated, because it is critical that I think of myself as a “good person.” Threats to that self-image must be destroyed at all costs.
Gospel:
* When I am criticized, I struggle, but it is not essential for me to think of myself as a “good person.” My identity is not built on my record or my performance but on God’s unconditional love for me in Christ.
 
Religion:
* My prayer life consists largely of petitions, and it only heats up when I am in a time of need. My main purpose in prayer is control of my environment.
Gospel:
* My prayer life consists of generous stretches of praise and adoration. My main purpose for prayer is to be in fellowship—union—relationship with God.
 
Religion:
* My self view swings between two poles. If and when I am living up to my standards, I feel confident, but then I am prone to be proud and unsympathetic to failing people. If and when I am not living up to certain standards, I feel humble but not confident—I fell like failure.
Gospel:
* My self view is not based on my achievements. In Christ I am simultaneously sinful and lost, yet accepted in Christ. I am so bad that He had to die for me, and I am so loved that He was glad to die for me. This leads me to deep humility and confidence at the same time.
 
Religion:
* My identity and self-worth are based mainly on how hard I work and succeed at being moral and keeping the law—and so I must look down on those I perceive as lazy and not keeping the law.
Gospel:
* My identity and self-worth are centered on the One who died for me. I am saved by sheer grace, so I can’t look down on those who believe or practice something different from me. Only by grace am I what I am.
 

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