“…the gospel is antithetical to religion.”
-Religion says that if we obey God He will love us. The gospel says that it is because God has loved us through Jesus that we have the ability to obey.
-Religion says that the world is filled with good people and bad people. The gospel says that the world is filled with bad people who are either repentant or unrepentant.
-The goal of religion is to get from God such things as health, wealth, insight, power, and control. The goal of the gospel is not the gifts that God gives, the goal in the gospel is God Himself because He is the gift given to us by grace.
-Religion is about what I have to do. The gospel is about what I get to do.
-Religion leads to an uncertainty about my standing before God because I never know if I have done enough to please God. The gospel leads to a certainty about my standing before God because of the finished work of Jesus on my behalf on the cross.
-Religion ends in either pride (because I think I am better than other people) or despair (because I continually fall short of God’s commands). The gospel ends in humble and confident joy because of the power of Jesus at work for me, in me, through me, and sometimes in spite of me.
-The real crux of the matter: Religion is about me. The gospel is about Jesus.