Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Instead, keeping God’s commandments is what counts.” 1 Corinthians 7:19 NET https://bible.com/bible/107/1co.7.19.NET
The Corinthian church asked Paul about a few specifics for understanding how to live the Christian life. They wanted more practical input about marriage and divorce as well as circumcision. Paul summarizes that keeping God’s commands is what counts. This is the problem, though, for so many in the church. God’s commands are quite clear and understandable, but they lack specificity. Love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves is understandable but not specific. It does not tell us exactly what we are to do so that we know if we comply with God’s wishes. Religion is easier than a relationship. God wants a relationship which is why He calls Himself Father. Relationships are fluid. Consistent good behaviors characterize them but are reflected daily in multitudinous ways. For example, we are to be kind to one another. Again, clear and straightforward is the command but practical not so much. Yet kindness is practical. It just looks different hourly and daily. We know kindness when we see it. We can’t list the ‘ten acts’ of kindness for us to do each day. God’s commands are this way intentionally so that we love one another without becoming religious, checking boxes of accomplishment on certain behaviors without giving ourselves to loving people. God always wants us in the Spirit, listening and looking for ways to love Him and others without making it a monotonous duty characterized by specific rules. This is His command.
One Reply to “God Is About Relationship Not Religion”
This was very helpful, it clearly illustrates how the Christian life differs from other religions, in particular, Islam. Also why exhortations in the Bible are often generic and directional than specific dos and donts.