As we celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection this season, let us be reminded about the dangers of being caught in religion. Christianity is a way of life and not a religion. Religion is mankind’s attempt to reach God, while christianity, on the other hand is God reaching down to humanity through the person and work of Christ. We should never forget that salvation is only through believing and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal saviour. The essence of Christ’s death and resurrection is to restore mankind back to God. Christ came to redeem the relationship man lost in the garden of Eden. In Philippians 3:1–11, Paul provides two directives that lead to a right relationship with Christ. One is to loose all forms of religion in our lives and the other, trust the person and work of Christ.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. [NIV]
In verses 7-11 outlined above, he stresses that all his accomplishments do not measure up with the surpassing value of knowing Christ. We are saved not by good works but by God’s mercy and our ultimate life’s purpose should be to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. There is no need for dead religion, for if we are found in Christ, we are living righteously. Being “found in Him” is simply living in His newness of life and taking God at His Word by receiving His promise that Jesus gives eternal life to those who trust in Him. Are you walking in the power of His resurrection, living and walking in that newness of life? Are you being conformed to His death? If your answers to both questions are not in the affirmative, then you really need to reconsider what Easter or better still Christ’s resurrection means to you. Happy Easter!