It was not religion that empowered Jesus to go to the cross. Neither was it religion that equipped Him to hang, nailed with the sins of humanity. Nor was it religion that raised Him from the dead. It certainly is not religion in which He presently lives in resurrection power. And, likewise, it is not religion that equips humanity with that resurrection power. It was, and still is, the Faith of Christ – a personal relationship that is concretized in who God says God is. The Faith of Christ carried Christ to the killing Cross, then, raised Christ from the endless grave and, now, empowers Christ to forever live in the reality of the resurrection Life. And that resurrection life is made available to all humanity through the Faith of Christ.
Religion is humanity’s counterfeit attempt to duplicate Faith – that, which, God has determined to be the only means of acceptance by God (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). All religion has the same origin and, contrary to popular belief, the same outcome. Humanity was made with an inert desire to walk with God. Having fallen out of relationship with God, humanity’s desire now results in religious intentions, which are driven by a religious nature (Romans 1). This being true, then, all religion is on equal footing – slippery as it is – in an attempt to reach God. Regardless of its name, its ethos, or its god (or its lack thereof), no religion is better than any other, including much of so-called “Christianity,” and all necessarily fall short of God’s acceptance. Religion will never reach God, nor can it, by definition of “God.”
The Faith, which God had determined would be the only acceptable way to access Him, seemed impossible with the degenerate state in which humanity found itself. With one nation did God establish a faith-based system, which proved only to be fodder for the religious nature of humanity, and Israel turned this, too, into simple religion (a temple cult). Let it be a lesson to humanity that faith cannot be an outward indoctrination, but that it necessarily must be an inward transformation.
Such an inward transformation is only probable in the resurrection life of Christ; made possible by the Faith of Christ – that very same faith of His which carried Him to the cross. Faith in Christ is nice, but the Faith of Christ is powerful. Faith in Christ is based on humanity and its frailty, while the Faith of Christ is based on divinity and its reality. Faith in Christ is too easily transferred into religion, where the Faith of Christ is the only means to transform from it.
The Faith of Christ was the agent of change, those many years ago, when Jesus came to free humanity from its religion (and its results). And the Faith of Christ is still the agent of change, today, when the church decides to be free from its human religion (and its results).