The Difference between Religion and the Gospel

Here is from one of Marks BLOGS

The Difference between Religion and the Gospel

By Pastor Mark Driscoll

Religion says, if I obey, God will love me. Gospel says, because God loves me, I can obey.

Religion has good people & bad people. Gospel has only repentant and unrepentant people.

Religion values a birth family. Gospel values a new birth.

Religion depends on what I do. Gospel depends on what Jesus has done.

Religion claims that sanctification justifies me. Gospel claims that justification enables sanctification.

Religion has the goal to get from God. Gospel has the goal to get God.

Religion sees hardships as punishment for sin. Gospel sees hardship as sanctified affliction.

Religion is about me. Gospel is about Jesus.

Religion believes appearing as a good person is the key. Gospel believes that being honest is the key.

Religion has an uncertainty of standing before God. Gospel has certainty based upon Jesus’ work.

Religion sees Jesus as the means. Gospel sees Jesus as the end.

Religion ends in pride or despair. Gospel ends in humble joy.

Of course I would add Religion is about controlling others. Gospel is about freedom in Christ


3 thoughts on “The Difference between Religion and the Gospel

  1. theoldadam


    I loved the last line (your line) the best. “Gospel is about freedom in Christ.”

    Again, Driscoll has done nice work. Almost nailed it.

    “Gospel has the goal to get God.” Close…the Gospel gives God.

    “Gospel claims that justification enables sanctification.” Close…the Gospel actually sanctifies as well.

    “Gospel believes that being honest is the key.” Close…the Gospel saves the dishonest.

    Driscoll is ever so close on this stuff, but as hard as he tries, he just can’t seem to hide that tinge of semi-Pelagianism.

    Believe you me, I’m not trying to be overly critical of the guy, I have heard him and I really like him, he is on the right track. He just needs to dump the little bit of ‘mans doing’ that gums up the works.

    Thanks Jon!

    – Steve M.

  2. theoldadam

    Amen Jon!

    I liked his attempt as well.

    I guess I am programed to look for language that even puts a slight twist on things towards man’s efforts.

    You know what they say, “the devil is in the details.”

    I come by this quirk honestly. My pastor is contantly throwing out hymns that our music director wants to put in the worshop service. “It’s all about the words”, he(my pastor) says.

    Subtlety is important with language when it comes to our understanding of God and to keep Him in the center. As you and Luther have said, we naturally want to start moving into that center ourselves, and must be on constant guard to catch ourselves.

    Great post, Jon!

    – Steve M.

  3. theoldadam

    That’s great news.

    If they gave that job to any Joe or Mary at my church, God only knows what they would come up with!

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