Religion Binds...Grace Frees.

Jesus came to set us free from sin, free from our selfishness, free from the opinions of others, free from religion...He came to set us free indeed.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again with the yoke of bondage." (Gal. 5:1)

For many believers still in bondage to religion thus, in bondage to self and the opinions of other people the effect of God's Grace escapes them. Like the people to whom Paul wrote to in Galatia, life as a believer has become a burden, as a "yoke of slavery." The Gospel which was to lead us to freedom has been neglected and believers are in deep bondage because of the blame and shame game of guilt and condemnation because religion is based on the Law Gospel of the Old Testament.

We are warned by Paul in Galatians 3 that people who have experienced the freedom that Grace brings can still be drawn back into the bondage of the law. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Gal. 3:1-3). He goes on to tell us in verses 10-12; For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

Grace is intended to give us freedom, but the mixing of Law with Grace is a perversion and draws people back into slavery.

Religion has twisted the "good news of Grace" into the "bad news of performance" and conforms it into meeting expectations that requires my having-to-try-harder.

This promotion of Law keeping plus Grace as the Gospel is spiritual abuse which abuses the essence of who we are as believers. It leaves us spiritually discouraged, burdens us with guilt and condemnation and cuts us off from the freeing capabilities of God's Grace and His transforming love.

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