Posted by: SandreS | July 6, 2009

Paul Severed from: Religion

Pharisee (Philippians 3:5)

Paul had been an orthodox Jew. He was a Pharisee, and had opposed the creed of the Sadducees. He was an extremely religious “fundamentalist.” He was a religionist to the hilt.

… After the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee (Acts 26:5).

For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion … (Galatians 1:13).

And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers (Galatians 1:14).

The etymology of our English word “religion” is “to bind” (Noah Webster), as “to bind strongly – from the same source as ligament … a bondage” (Partridge).

James Strong defines the Greek word as “ceremonial observance … ceremonious in worship” (Strong’s Greek Lexicon #2356, #2357).

Scripture uses the term “religion” in reference to (or in the context of) Israel’s Kingdom program and never to the Body of Christ. When Paul spoke of “forgetting those things which are behind” (Philippians 3:13) he was referring to his religion, which he counted “waste” (:8)!

If there had ever been a “religion” to hold onto, it would have been “the Jew’s religion,” the only “religion” ever ordained by God; but Paul even counted this “loss for Christ.”

All religion is bondage; Paul embraced true freedom – freedom from religion. Thus Paul wrote to the believer,

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1).

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (II Corinthians 3:17).

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:15).

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh (Colossians 2:20-23).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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