Apostle Grace Lubega
Matthew 23:23 (KJV); Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Religion is a spirit. Some assume that its face is only of men in long garb and overflowing robes. However, the religious spirit can also be functional in tongue speaking demon-chasing “Pentecostals”. In fact, it is possible to have a more religious “Pentecostal” than a man professing one of the world’s religions.
Why must we be cautious of the spirit of religion?
Throughout scripture, Christ demonstrated His abhorrence for this spirit. He commonly addressed religious men with the words, ‘Woe unto you!’
Is it because He did not love them? No. But the spirit of religion is very serious and one of its primary dangers is explained in our theme scripture. The Bible reveals to us that it omits the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy and faith.
This means that in anything pertaining to doctrine, the spirit of religion will always downplay what is more important and amplify what is inconsequential.
For example, the spirit of religion will split theological hairs over whether Jesus died on a tree or on a cross ignoring the much weightier issue of His death and resurrection.
In Hosea 6:6, the Bible says, “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” The spirit of religion will cause a man to regard sacrifice [what he can do for God] above what God can do and reveal to Him.
God has called us to live beyond religion and to embrace the liberties of faith and the power of a personal relationship with Him.
FURTHER STUDY: Matthew 9:1-6, Hosea 6:6
GOLDEN NUGGET: God has called us to live beyond religion and to embrace the liberties of faith and the power of a personal relationship with Him.
PRAYER: Loving Father, I thank You for this truth. Thank You for the revelation of Your Spirit and for deeper insights into Your person that take me beyond religion. I see You in purity and regard the weightier matters of the Kingdom in all that I do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.