Symptoms In the minds of many, being a Christian is equated with a set of rules.  For many being a Christian means, “Do this,” or “Don’t do that.”  Christianity becomes defined by morality; it very quickly becomes about your ability to follow the rules and has little to do with faith.  While behaviors are certainly important - they do all have consequences - they do not define what makes a Christian.  The religion of doing is one that focuses on behaviors over the savior.  It focuses on what you need to do over what has already been done.  The Gospel is never about behavior modification, moralism, or more rules.  The Gospel is about what Christ has done to rescue us from sin.

Treat the Symptoms, Ignore the Heart

When we trust in the religion of doing we try to deal with the symptoms of the problem while ignoring the deeper issue. This would be like suffering from heart disease and simply trying to deal with the chest pain by taking some tylenol, all the while ignoring that your arteries were being clogged and you needed major surgery.  Treating the symptoms may temporarily make you feel better, but it doesn’t get to the heart of the issue.  Behavior modification only ever goes so far.  Because while we may slowly curb our behavior, what we will continue to find is that sin is much deeper than a single struggle.  And we will find that the behavior we try to correct either will resurface or come up in the guise of something else.

The Religion of Doing tries to deal with the symptoms of the problems.  Christ deals with the disease.

Are you interested in putting a Band-Aid on the wound that runs deep within your soul?  Being a Christian is about a finished work; the work that God has done.  If you make your faith about what you do, you will quickly find yourself exhausted at your inability to do it.  The Good News is that while we are sinful, Christ died for us.  While there is a disease that runs deep within us, it’s not on us to deal with the symptoms or the disease, because Christ came for the sick.

The preacher, Tullian Tchividjian, said, “Contrary to popular belief, Christianity is not about good people getting better.  If anything, it is about bad people coping with their failure to be good.”  In other words, being a Christian is not about us doing all the right things; it’s about Christ doing the one right thing that was necessary to save us while we were unable to do anything about our own situation.