Religion vs Grace

Are you going through life trying to prove something to Jesus? Are you enslaved by religious rules and protocols? Do this and Jesus is happy, don’t do this and Jesus is unhappy.
Religion is joyless. Its demands are external.
But grace transforms from the inside out.
If you are in Christ, your sin has been placed on Him, only to receive His perfection in return. When the Father looks at you, He sees you obeying in every way as His Son has.

The central theme of the letter to the church at Rome is the gospel.
By the end of chapter 2, Paul has clearly demonstrated that everyone is guilty and deserving of God’s wrath. As Paul taught this truth in the synagogues, he surely encountered objections so to anticipate these, Paul begins the rebuttal before the argument gets started.


1. Because I was born into a privileged family, I am exempt from God’s wrath (Rom 3:1-2)
Paul explains that God’s covenant does not exempt anyone from judgment, however it is an unequaled privilege. From the descendants of Abraham, the whole world would receive God’s invitation to receive grace.

2. Because Israel didn’t keep its part of the covenant, that doesn’t mean God won’t save the world. I can count on God to be faithful to His promise (v. 3-4)
The unbelief of the entire Jewish race will never, in any way, prevent God from accomplishing His will. He keeps His promises, and He will remain faithful despite the failure of humanity.

3. Because God knew humanity couldn’t live up to His righteousness, His wrath is unjustified (v. 5-6)
As Paul later explained, the giving of the Law did not suddenly make humanity guilty of wrongdoing. God didn’t arbitrarily paint a target somewhere other than where he had already shot the arrow and then call it a miss, the target has always been present.
The Law merely highlights and magnifies the target. The Lord didn’t give the Law to justify His wrath, He established clear lines between right and wrong as a means of grace, to show us our sins.

4. Because God’s light shines brighter because of darkness, we glorify Him better by our sin (v. 7-8)
This is crazy thinking! It fails to comprehend the destructive nature of sin. Sin separates the Creator from the creation He loves so dearly.
Paul’s Jewish readers objected to the doctrine of justification by grace through faith for the same reasons that are given by all human-centered religions.


1. Grace releases me from religious control. You are no longer a slave to religious demands; you don’t have to be perfect.
Living in grace allows you to be free from the religious demands of others’ self-imposed rules.

2. Grace removes religion as the means by which I maintain my relationship with Jesus.
There are too many religion junkies that can’t get off the treadmill of earning God’s favor.

3. Grace completely changes the purpose of good deeds in my life.
Grace drastically changes how I relate to God, and ultimately changes how I think and live. God’s grace determines how we handle our possessions, our lives, and even how we regard our own selves.

Religion states, “I am a good person and have value because of what I accomplish.”
Grace states, “I am a sinner who has been given something great I don’t deserve, look at my Savior, it’s all about Jesus!”
Preach the gospel to yourself daily.
Pastor Chris Williams
To learn more about Pastor Chris and his teaching, visit us on the web at  and make sure you subscribe to receive these biweekly encouragements in your inbox.




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