Friday, May 13, 2011

True Religion

I was reading a book this morning and really encouraged to examine my heart and its motivations. I thought I would share an excerpt that may encourage you today as well.



"Yet a man may both abstain from outward evil and do good, and still have no religion. Further, two persons may do the same good outward act--as feeding of the hungry--and one be religious, while the other is not. This is because one may do the act out of love and the other for the love of praise. Although real religion leads to good works and words, its real nature still lies deeper. Real religion lies in the hidden heart of man.

I say of the heart, because religion does not consist of right opinions or orthodoxy. While such matters are not necessarily outward things, they are not of the heart, but of the understanding. A person may be orthodox in every point, espousing right opinions and zealously defending them; he may think correctly concerning the Trinity, and every other approved doctrine taken from the Scriptures; he may agree with all of the historical creeds, and yet have no religion at all. He may be as orthodox as the devil, and still have no more religion than a pagan. He is indeed a pagan if he is a stranger to the religion of the heart.

This alone is religion as it is truly so-called. This alone is of value in the sight of God. Paul summarized religion in three particulars: righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit"

~ John Wesley

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