This phrase is making the rounds on the Internet among professed Christians, and it is quite troubling. The sentiment is expressed in charts, videos, and Facebook status updates. The trouble with these faddish phrases is that they sound great, but the biblical underpinning is sadly lacking, and will pull unsuspecting Christians into error.
The message conveyed is subtle. It suggests that there is a disconnect between accepting Jesus as Savior and accepting Him as Lord. The idea put forth is that Jesus will save the soul without giving us any “rules” to keep. Another way of putting it, accepting Christ is to accept His gift of salvation without having to follow Him with acts of worship and service in obedience to His commands.
“Religion” is “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”
The life that Jesus requires as Lord of my life, and the life that His grace teaches, perfectly fits this definition. The “set of beliefs” that I hold concerning the nature and purpose of His creation involves “devotional and observances” (acts of worship), and it contains His “moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” This is “pure and undefiled religion” (James 1:27). One simply does not exist to the exclusion of the other. Jesus is my Savior and my religion.
Adapted from Edward O. Bragwell, Sr.