The Religion of Self

In Acts 2, Peter preaches a sermon about the resurrection to thousands of people. In response they ask, “What shall we do?”

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins,” he replies, “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (verse 38).

Over the next few days I’m going to flush that out a bit.

Today our key word is “repent.” But what is it?

It certainly includes being sorry for living in ways that dishonour God.

But Professor Robert Wall adds that it is “the internal and intellectual act of exchanging old beliefs for new ones.”

What I’d like to suggest is that—no matter who we are—repentance isn’t just a one-time thing. True repentance includes the continual suffocation of the Religion of Self.

The Religion of Self is a belief system that says the purpose of life is to be personally healthy and happy, and that “spirituality” is fine as long as it doesn’t make things too uncomfortable or inconvenient. It says that our lives are measured by our stuff and success.

But Jesus summons us to something more: to love, know, glorify and serve God; to love our neighbours as ourselves; and to get in on the ways he is bringing heaven to earth.

Who would you rather have as the Captain of your life—yourself or Christ? 

True repentance includes the continual suffocation of the Religion of Self which is always about me-myself-and-I, and which is never truly about Jesus.

By Matthew Ruttan

—Bible quotes are from the New International Version.
—Please note that, unfortunately, I can no longer read or reply to any email responses to this devotional. Sorry! With the growing readership I just can’t sift through all the replies and questions. But I hope the devotional continues to be a blessing to you. Enjoy!

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