I saw this on a slip of paper today and thought I would share it:
Religion says, “If I obey, I’m accepted.”
The Gospel says, “I’m accepted, so I obey.”
Religion says, “If I’m good, God will love me.”
The Gospel says, “I’m bad, and Jesus loves bad people.”
Religion says, “People are either good or bad.”
The Gospel says, “People are either repentant or not.”
Religion’s focus is what I do or don’t do.
The Gospel’s focus is what Jesus did.
Religion produces pride and despair.
The Gospel produces humility and confidence.
Religion is motivated by fear.
The Gospel is motivated by love.
The source is unknown but it clearly shows the contrast between man’s attempt at reaching God, and God’s success in reaching us. Even the definitions of the words are telling. Religion is doing activities over and over and over. For example, a person could be religious at taking the trash out each week. The Gospel means “good news”. And it is good news that God loved you and me enough having gone to extreme lengths so we could be right with Him.