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Consider Saul of Tarsus. In Acts 26:9 he said: "I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth." Saul really felt satisfied in opposing Jesus, but later he realized he had been the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:13,15). What about you? Could it be that you feel satisfied with your religion, when really it is not satisfactory?
What was Saul's real problem? He had been satisfied with his religion, but then he learned that God was not satisfied. Isn't this what we should really be concerned about? Instead of asking, "Am I satisfied with my religion?", shouldn't I be asking, "Is God satisfied with my religion?"
But how can we know whether or not our religion is satisfactory to God? 2 Timothy 3:16 says that the Scriptures provide us to all good works. Then Matthew 15:9 adds that practices invented by men make our worship vain. So, to satisfy God, we must practice only what God through the gospel tells us to do.
But did you ever stop to think that, in the religious realm today, there are many common religious practices that people are satisfied with, but those practices are nowhere to be found in God's word? For example, where in the New Testament do you find such practices as infant baptism, sprinkling or pouring for baptism, tithing, annual or monthly communion, instrumental music in worship, the existence of many different denominations, or churches that have a central earthly headquarters?
These are common religious practices, but where do you find them in the New Testament? If they cannot be found there, how can we expect God to be satisfied with them? "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God" — 2 John 9.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2/5/2005
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