So, I wrote my last post along the same time as I came across this list contrasting religion and gospel – and I’ve been chewing it since then.  Here’s the list… 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. 
 

And the reason I’ve been chewing on this is two-fold.  I find it easy to agree that “this” (our lives, the things around us, our circumstances) are all about and for Jesus – very much in agreemnet with the Gospel side.  But, having grown up in a guilt-driven understanding of Christian walk, it’s hard to move away from some of the “Religion” implications.    My friend Quincy might apply his Mt. Dew illustraion to the subtlty of the differences between the two. He explains that the enemy comes at us with subtle differences in his lies because if the lies were obvious, we wouldn’t be fooled.  Quincy uses Mt. Dew (the most heavenly drink available on Earth) as the illustration of God’s truth (in whatever situation) and Mello Yello as the subtle lies presented by the enemy.  If you put the two side-by-side they can be easily confused, unless you’re accustomed to drinking one or the other.  If you’re used to drinking Mt. Dew; you know the flavor, the color, the smell, the way the carbonation tickles your palate, you will not be fooled by a cheap substitute, no matter how close it appears to a casual glance. God has for us a purpose and that purpose lies in the Gospel.  Don’t be fooled by a cheap Religion.  Drink in God’s Word so you’ll know the difference when the enemy approaches.