Faithlife
Faithlife

Moving from Religion to Relationship

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6. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

7. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Moving From Religion to Relationship

Colossians 2:6-7


Today I would like to fix your focus and motivate your mind to becoming more and more like Christ. Today, we as a people, we as a nation, we as a country have gotten too far away from the true and living God.

Today, our focus is on prestige, power and on position. While many of us are looking to gain power for ourselves, our children are fussing, fighting and killing one another. While we are looking to gain prestige among our peers, our communities are being raped and robbed of it safety.

While we are looking to gain position, we will use any and all methods necessary to gain notoriety above our counterparts. I’m telling you today, we are failing our children. All week long, I’ve been listening to different speeches by Martin Luther King. And I must say that although we have made progress in civil rights, we are letting his dream die.

I just thought I needed to say those things before I really get into the sermon today. For years now, many of us have been coming to church. We get up each Sunday morning with our minds on coming to church and having a good time. All that we are really doing is jus coming.

I must say that in our coming to church, many of us have become so programmed, we have become so predictable, that is seems like much of the stuff that we are doing is just for a show. It seems that we are not real in the professions that we are making. It looks like much of the service that we are giving is so rehearsed that it’s not real service.

That is because many of the “church folks” who got good religion and they have become satisfied. That’s really what Paul meant when he said in Romans, “they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God”.   

Really what he was saying was that, many people want to worship God, but they don’t want to do it God’s way, they establish their own little way and become comfortable in doing so.

We ought not to be so predictable this morning. I don’t know if you notice me like I notice you. But I can just about tell who’s going to say Amen, and when you are going to say it. I can just about tell you who’s going to stand and who will continue to sit all through service. I can just about tell you who’s going to sing in the choir, and who’s going to pray and the content of their prayer.

You just about know how devotion is going to go. You just about know how the collection is going to be. You just about know much of the thing that the pastor is going to say, and when he will say them. Doesn’t this type church really put many of our people to sleep?

There is nothing really exciting about it. Everybody has become so predictable. That is because many “church folks” got a religion instead of a relationship. Now let me carry you to the dictionary and define the word “Religion” for you. One of the meaning of this word is; “A personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs and practices”. Are we practicing church or are we being the church. There is a difference.

Now there is nothing wrong with having a system, but there are a few words in this definition that disturbs me. The first word is “set”. There shouldn’t be anything set for us when it comes to worshipping God. Because, as Christians we are to be led by the Spirit. We can’t have a set service if we are being led by the Spirit.

The next word that bothers me is “attitudes and practices”. Now, the bible says, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God”. How can we have an attitude of our own and practice the things that we always done, if we are being led by God’s Spirit?

When you think of the word “religion” you really began to place yourself back under the Law from which Christ have made us free. You begin to develop a practice instead of participating in a promise. You begin to come to church because you feel like you have too, not because you want too. It is a duty for you and not a delight.

Believe it or not, many of us today have developed a practice. Some of y’all will only come to church at 11:15. Some will only come on certain Sundays. Some will never come back to even services. Some will never attend Bible Class. When you become so predictable, you’ve got to wonder within yourself, are you really real in what you are doing for Christ or are you just going through what you’ve practiced most of your life.

Now, let’s look at the word “relationship”. Webster says it means, “The state or condition of being related or interrelated”. It means connecting or binding participants in a relationship. It means that you are “locked in” and you interact with the Spirit of God, as the Spirit of God interacts with you.

It means that you can talk to God, and you can listen while God talks to you. And there are many people in today’s world that don’t even know how God is speaking.

He is speaking through His Spirit that gives us guidance to His written word. Now His Spirit lives within us. And so many people wishes or want to hear Him Speak out with an audible voice. Many folks today want God to speak through the thunder, or they want to see a burning bush that is not consumed by the fire, but God’s is a Spirit, and we that worship Him MUST worship Him in spirit and in truth.  

That must mean that when He speaks to us, He speaks to us spiritually. God speaks to the heart. That why you will hear me tell you when you are engaged in a personal problem, the first thing that you need to do is pray and ask God for leadership. And then you must listen to your heart. God speaks to the heart.

As Christians, we are to walk in the light of what His Spirit leads us too. If we are indeed His children, we ought to be walking in the light of God. If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship {which is basically the same as a relationship} with one another.

When we can’t get along with one another then we only have a religion. You come to church all the time, but you still can’t get along with nobody here, you’ve ain’t got nothing but a religion. You are coming because you feel like it’s right to do. We are to come here with our hearts geared on worshipping Him. We’ve been commanded to assemble ourselves together. But when you come here, who do you get together with?

That’s when you will know that you’ve moved from a religion to a relationship when you come here with your mind on worshipping Him. In this section of your text this morning, Paul was writing this letter to Colosse and was sent from Rome along with the letter to the Ephesian and the letter to Philemon.

Now, Paul was encouraging them to continue in Christ. This morning Johnson Creek, if we are going to continue, we must continue in Christ. We don’t need to continue on practicing our evil little deeds like we’ve always done. We need to move to a new and better relationship with Christ. Paul says, “Since we have received Christ Jesus our Lord, so walk ye in Him”. If we are going to be Christians, we ought to act like Christians ought to act. We ought to treat one another like Jesus treated other.

We don’t have any business coming here mad at one another.

We don’t have any business coming here fighting one another.

We don’t have any business coming here pulling one another down.

We don’t have any business coming here stuck on ourselves.

This thing is all about Jesus. It has nothing to do with you. You are only coming here to give Him thanks and praise for all the things that HE has done for you.

So Paul tells us how we are to act. Actually he gives us 32 things that we ought to be doing as Christians and they are listed throughout the remainder of this chapter.

Rooted and built in Him

The first thing he says is to be rooted and built in Him. Now the word rooted will lead us away from what we normally think, when we think about being rooted. Normally, when we think of being rooted, we would think of someone who has been brought up in the church. Someone who can confess that, “I’ve been in church all my life”. That is only religion. The fact that you’ve been coming to church all your life will not get you to heaven. In order to get to heaven, you’ve got to know Christ Jesus for yourself.

Paul was thinking about being brought up in the church when he says to become rooted.

Here the word rooted means to become stable. This means that you are connected with Christ. It means don’t be tossed to and fro by every little wind and doctrine that comes your way, but to know that word of truth, and become stable in that Word.

Now only are you stable in your relationship with Him, but you are built up on Him. Everything that you are. Everything that you hope to be, is all because Christ has been who He is. He is our solid foundation. You are to build your life on HIM being the foundation of everything that you do.

You are no longer coming here with stale and stagnated praise, your praise is based upon the fact that God has been good to you. And all of us here today are able to say that God has been good to us, but you’ve got to ask yourself, are you praising Him like you ought too.

We’ve got to learn what God wants of us when we do come here. He has commanded us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye land. All of us ought to praising God. Now, I do respect the fact that we all have different personalities, but the Bible commanded us to make some noise. Folks, we do not have the right to be silent.

We can’t talk about I’m praising God in my own way. There is no such thing as quiet praise. To praise Him means to lift Him with your whole heart. You can’t make a joyful noise by being quiet. What you need to do is move from religion to relationship.

With a relationship, you are willing to submit yourself to any and all of His commandments. Don’t worry about who’s looking at you and who’s around you, just lift holy hands and praise God with your whole heart.

Stablished in the faith

Then Paul says that we are to become established in the faith. This means that we are to confirm our faith. If you really look deep enough, it means to make sure that you are sure. There should not be any doubt that you are indeed walking in Christ.

Now, Paul says that we are to do that, “as ye have been taught”.  This carries you back to what I talked about on last week. Where are you getting your teaching? You are not coming to Bible Class. You are not coming to Sunday School. When you come to church you are attention or you mind is on everything but church, so that must mean that you are getting your teaching from the world.

And if you are getting your teaching from the world, you can’t establish your faith. Now faith is trust. It is confident. So, Paul says, be sure that you have confidence in Christ, according to the teaching that you have gain through His Word. Faith cometh by hearing.

You will know when a person doesn’t have faith. Mostly the people who are religious are the ones who will not have faith. They will come here and confess that, “I will trust in the Lord until I died”. But when it actually comes time to trust in Him, they will lose what little confident that they have confessed that they have. They will fall all to pieces.

When you have a relationship with Him, you know what He will do. You will know that;

He may not come when you want Him, but He will come.

He may not heal you when you want to be healed, but He will heal you.

He may not provide for you, when you want provision, but He will provide.

He may not protect you like you want protection, but He will protect you.

See the person that has a relationship knows that it’s not about what he wants, but it’s all about how Christ wants to work through Him.

Abounding with thanksgiving

Then Paul says we ought to be abounding with thanksgiving. This word “abounding” means “to be in excess of”. Which really means that our thanksgiving ought to be in excess of what we normally do. It means to abound in quantity and in quality.

You ought not to wait until I tell you to thank Him, but you ought to be thanking Him all the while. In quantity means that it ought to be more than what you would normally do, and in quality means that it ought to be real.

The bible tells us that we are to “come into His presence with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise”.  Watch this now, the only way that we can even get connected with Christ, is to come with thanksgiving.

When we get out of our cars, we ought to be thanking Him. When we come in the church, we ought not to let nothing or nobody stop our praise. WE ought to be give Him thanks. I told them at Bible Class the other night, the attitude that you come through those doors with, will determine you level of praise.

If you come through those doors mad and ready to snap at the least little thing, you are not going to be praising God that day. You may as well stayed at home. But if you come through those doors knowing that God has been good to you, knowing it was God that brought you back to the church, knowing that in spite of your wrong, God has looked beyond you faults and supplied all you needs, you will not allow anything to stop you from praising Him. Jesus died for you, the least that you can do is to thank Him.

With religion, we will only thank Him and praise Him at a certain time, or a certain number of times. But with a relationship, our thanks and praise will abound above and beyond that set number. It means that we will continue, always abounding with thanksgiving with the Lord.

If you know

That God have brought from a mighty long way,

You ought to praise the Lord.

If you know,

That God really been good to you,

He kept you all night last night,

While the thieves and robber roamed over this land and country,

God kept them from your door,

You ought to give God some praise.

If you know,

It was God that woke you up this morning,

Closed you in your right mind,

Put food on your table,

Clothes on your back,

Shoes on your feet,

A roof over your head,

You ought to stand on your feet,

Lift up holy hands, and says, Lord, I do thank you Sir.

If you know,

It was the Lord, that brought you over hills and mountains,

Carried you down through the valleys,

You ought to tell the Lord, thank you Lord.

If you know,

God has been a bridge over troubled water,

A doctor in a sick room,

A lawyer in a court room,

You ought not to be ashamed to tell God, thank you Sir.

If you know,

It was Jesus who died for you.

They whipped Him all night long.

Spit in His face, put a crown of thorns on His head,

They stretched Him wide, put nails in His hands, and they nailed His feet.

He hung on the cross from the third to the ninth hour.

Hung, bled, and died, for your sins and mine,

You ought not to be ashamed to just say, Lord, I really thank you.

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