Man has always tried to add to the Gospel and love of Christ. traditions of men, required memberships, religious rules, humanistic ideologies and of course things added to the message that Jesus taught about salvation.
Christianity is about humility, and total allegiance to Jesus Christ. His Spirit lives in the believer. The Father speaks to us, and knowing Christ and being forgiven may be the most undervalued gift, given to mankind.
This world and all its allures still cry out to everyone, including the Jesus follower, for our allegiance, attentions, involvement, and participation.
Paul’s teaching here is something to read. Read it over a couple times, it is powerful. My comments of course will not improve on it.
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God. From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.” (Galatians 6:14–18, NIV)
Some key questions
-Is this world and all it’s stuff, got a hold of us more than loving and serving Christ? Is it dead to our hearts?
-Are we dead to thinking the things of this world will complete us, satisfy us, bring us inner joy, help us enjoy life more than a relationship with God?
-As Paul had the marks of Christ on his body (Greek is Stigmata) or stigma. Do we, without shame, identify with Jesus Christ, no matter what “stigma” it carries to others?
Religion, and man’s attempt to “make Jesus” better, harder, stronger, or whatever is no necessary. The work of Christ and Calvary, Jesus life and teachings stand on their own. Before we add to Christ, we need to subtract. Subtract the things of this temporary world from our lives, and then the need to “add” to Jesus will not seem germane or even necessary.
I close with the words again of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Corinth.
“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.For it is written,“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.””
(1 Corinthians 1:18–19, NASB95