Religion vs. The Gospel
I hate that we apparently can't rehabilitate the perfectly good concept of religion, but in this instance, as it means "salvation by doing stuff," this piece by Mark Driscoll is right on.
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.