by Nellie Shani
4/07/2010 / Christian Living
Each time I contemplate about what happened in the garden of Eden, I see the difference between Christianity and religion.
After Adam and Eve sinned, they realized that they were naked and sewed themselves a covering made of fig leaves. They also became afraid of God and hid from him in the garden. They were practicing religion.
Religion is an attempt by man to make himself acceptable to God. Man realizes that he is naked, then he "sews fig leaves to cover himself." An example of the fig leaves that man "sews" is good works. Man tries to be acceptable to God by doing good works. These good works do not emanate from love but from fear. God says in the Bible that our righteous deeds are like filthy rags.
Christianity is the covering that God made for Adam and Eve. God sought them out when they were hiding. It was God's initiative in reaching down to them to cover their nakedness. It required sacrifice because an animal's blood had to be shed to use its skin as a covering. This was symbolic of Jesus, the Lamb of God who had to be killed so that sinful man could be clothed in His righteousness. God's action what out of love. "But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
So Christianity is a love relationship between God and man, where man accepts his sin and asks for forgiveness, and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Religion is man making an independent attempt to be accepted by God through his own effort. The relationship is not based on love but on fear and duty.
Nellie Odhuno Shani is a Counselor, Conference speaker and writer. Her first books are available on amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles and on her author's websites.
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