(Free from the law of Moses, not from the law of Christ)

If when you say "religion" you mean the righteousness by means of the law of Moses, then yes - that kind of religion is dead to me as well.  But let me warn you, you may be playing at an innocent game in the devil's sandbox and not even know it.  Let no one come to believe that Christians have no standards by which they are required to live.  Christians are not lawless people.  The bible makes clear to Christians that there are requirements by which they are to live, all of which are fulfilled as we take up our cross and follow after Christ.  Christ does not walk in sin, so when we are following Him we will not walk in sin either.  To repent is to turn from our sinful ways and thoughts.  It doesn't just mean to feel bad about something.  To no longer look at those things as good or condone them but to turn ourselves away from them.  This is not just turning from the 'doing' of sin, but also making a conscious decision to turn our minds and thoughts away from sin for even our mind has also been renewed; we have the mind of Christ.  Christ tells us that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord God with all of our minds, body and souls so to truly repent is to not only repent in the "doing" of sin but also to align our minds with the mind of Christ (agree with the Word which was made flesh in Christ Jesus). " If we live by the Spirit let us also walk by the Spirit." Galatians 5:25

Now why have I said this?  And what does this have to do with the word 'religion' and why did I tell you not to play in the devil's sandbox?  Because the devil is a liar and the author of confusion and I submit to those who are mature and can understand what is happening in our churches today that a war of 'words' is being played against us and between us. The wheat and the tares are being sifted as we speak.  These things will only grow in the last days and we are closer now than we have ever been before.  There are so many signs all around us.  Here is the war of 'words' the enemy is attempting to play against us, realize it, recognize it, and resist it.  Let it not take any part of you as you work out your salvation before the Lord.  The enemy is crafty and He is turning us against one another one word at a time.  First it was the word 'sin', then the word 'sanctify', then the word 'repentance' and now the word 'religion'.  All have become DIRTY words in the church.  I submit to you today that these words are exactly the opposite.  They are CLEAN words and they have neither lost their meaning nor importance to the children of God.  The church is compromising too much in order to become 'relevant' to the world.  We do not need to make God relevant to the world, but make this world relevant to God.  People are lost and they are going to hell, not because God doesn't love them, but because they are being made to believe that their sins do not exist and do not matter to God.  God loves everyone, but sin matters.  And sin is in the church because the church cares more about having pews filled with behinds than they do with having hearts filled with the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We've become a compromising church.  We no longer care how people are living Monday - Saturday as long as we don't have to see it for one hour on Sunday morning.  Leave your offering in the plate and we'll promise to look the other way.  We God is sick of it.  He didn't send His son to die for that.  If we truly love people we will be honest with them; we will tell them truth even if it means discomfort comes to us.

Jesus Himself is the 'Word of God made flesh".  Everything from the Word of God is holy and pure.   Do not be caught up in the demagoguery of the Old Testament or old covenant.  It has passed away, but it is no less holy now than it was then for "ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17, New Testament)  This does not mean that we are today under the law of Moses because we know from many scriptures and from ALL of the teachings of Jesus Christ Himself that the law was passing and has passed away and the New Covenant made in Christ has come to us.  No longer is righteousness imputed to us by the letter of the law but the Spirit of the law is written on our hearts, which is Christ Jesus Himself, the Word made flesh.  But when I hear people speak of 'religion' as if it is a dirty word and declare that religion is killing the church, I cringe because I know they don't know what they are saying!!  The only thing killing the church is sin and the churches unwilling desire to deal with it.  It's like a festering splinter.  No one wants to take it out, but leaving it in is worse.  The world hears this rhetoric from Christians and rejoices because to them Christians are FINALLY saying what they have always wanted to hear; there is no standard by which God requires us to live.  Just say the word 'JESUS' and everyone look the other way.  When I hear people in the church say that being a Christian is not religion but about relationship, I wonder if they even understand what a relationship with Jesus Christ LOOKS LIKE.  It looks like religion!  A relationship with Christ will result in evidence in your life.  Repentance is the everyday life of a Christian.  We are constantly tempted and we must constantly turn and constantly follow after Christ.  There is no relationship with Christ outside of that.  It requires something of you.  The relationship you have with Christ IS pure religion and it comes with perceivable evidence.  "Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, AND TO KEEP HIMSELF UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD."  Be so careful not to end that sentence at the word affliction; the statement was not finished there. God doesn't just look the other way while we keep sinning and call us holy anyway.  The church is doing that, but God does not.  Should we go on sinning so that we can receive even more Grace?  Heaven's no...   Romans 8:1 tells us "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are IN Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."  Who are those who are IN Christ Jesus?  Those who do not WALK according to the flesh, but according to the SPIRIT.  Christians are not a people of lawlessness.  We walk according to the law of Christ.  The Mosaic law vs. the Christian law are summed up in verses 2-8.  "For the LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law (Mosaic) could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  For those who LIVE ACCORDING TO THE FLESH set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who LIVE ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT, the things of the Spirit.  For TO BE CARNALLY MINDED IS DEATH, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; FOR IT IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE LAW OF GOD, nor indeed can be.  So then, THOSE WHO ARE IN THE FLESH CANNOT PLEASE GOD."  I am not telling anyone they have to keep the mosaic law for righteousness sake.  You have to know the difference between the mosaic law and the law of Christ.  When Paul speaks of "the law" he is speaking of the Mosaic law.  When He talks about the Law of Christ, He calls is that or He simple describes the lifestyle (what it looks like, what we should or should not be doing) To keep one of the mosaic laws for righteousness sake alone is to nullify what Christ has done for us and to be required to keep all 613 of those laws and STILL not be found righteous before God which STILL leads to hell; it cannot be done and there is no point to it anyway!  Christ died because our righteousness cannot be achieved in the mosaic law.  The mosaic law only conformed what our bodies were doing, it did not have the power to change our hearts and our minds.  Those who practice lawlessness will be turned away from Jesus in the end.  Jesus will tell them, "Depart from Me, I knew you not, you who practice lawlessness."  The law that we keep is simple!  The greatest and most important is to love God will all our minds, body and soul.  To love God is to turn from sin and follow after Christ and this means we make the free will decision ourselves to live holy and pure lives.  Here is the beauty of Grace.  Here is the part that we cannot earn.  The POWER to live truly righteously is available to us BECAUSE THE HOLY SPIRIT (GOD) LIVES IN US and guides and teaches us to live and walk after the Spirit of God.  The law of Moses was weak because it did not have the power to change our hearts or our minds.  It only brought our bodies into submission.  But those who have turned from their own ways to follow after Christ have placed their hope and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and consequently have been given the power to live truly righteously; soul, mind and in their body.  There is no way but through Christ Jesus, but do not be confused in the war of words.  The enemy would have you believe that religion is simply TRYING to be holy and since we cannot receive righteousness this way we needn't be concerned with living holy at all.  My friend that is a lie from hell, designed to take you there.  I say to you exactly what Christ said so many years ago, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" and "Follow after Me (Jesus Christ)." The Holy Spirit will guide you in following after Christ, you can have faith in that.  You do not have to wander aimlessly.  The Word is for us today and we will be held accountable for it in the end, but we know by faith IN GOD that He is the one saving us AS we follow Him.  To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to deny His work in us.  It's not just a bad word.  God will never force you to do anything, He will simply guide you.  It is up to us to continue to follow Him.  If we do not continue to follow Christ we are worse off than when we didn't even know Him.  2 Peter 2:20-22 "If they HAVE ESCAPED the CORRUPTION of the world BY KNOWING our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST AND ARE AGAIN ENTANGLED IN IT AND are OVERCOME, they are WORSE OFF AT THE END THAN they were at THE BEGINNING.  It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.  Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”  If we were hell bound when we didn't know Him at all how much more are we in trouble having KNOWN Him and turned away again?!  Pure religion before God is to be UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD.  Some will follow after Christ but then turn away again and those will not be saved. Do not be deceived in the war on words.  The enemy is a deceiver.  Religion is not your enemy, sin is.  Repentance is not a binding yoke, it is the beginning of freedom in Christ. (2 Peter 3:9)  Being sanctified is not being enslaved, it is the process of being saved. (2 Thess 2:13)  

Christians you are free from the Law of Moses, but not free from the Law of Christ.  "Love God with all of you mind, body and soul."  Against this, there is no law.  Paul taught it and it is still true for the church today.  May the church begin to honestly teach it again and win the lost before Christ returns! 

"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more....to them that are without law, as without law, being not without law to God, but under the law of Christ, that I might gain them that are without law."  (1 Corinthians 9:19 & 21)