Christianity is beyond religious activities, a belief in one God, sets of rituals and ceremonies. If it is just about belief in one, then we are no different from the devils because the Bible states clearly that the devils also believe and tremble.
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Christianity is God’s way of life, it is God’s kind of life which Jesus taught us; it is beyond just religious activities. After all nobody was more religious than the Pharisees and the Sadducees, but Jesus condemned their way of life and advised them to accept God’s kind of life which is Christianity.
Cornelius was a religious man who found favour in the eyes of God, but his religion was not enough, that was why God had to send an angel to Peter to show him God’s way of life, [Acts 10: 1-48]. Even though he was a devout man, even though he prayed very had and gave offering to the poor and to God, even though he did all that religion would require, they were still not enough without Jesus Christ, the Way to the Truth about God in order to live the Life of God, that life of Christ called Christianity, (Christ like life, the Way of Life of the Truth).
Acts 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 10:3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. 10:4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 10:5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: 10:6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.
Religion would have prevented Peter from going to the house of Cornelius let alone eating or spending the night there because he was a Jew, and acceptable to mix up with gentiles in their time. But Christianity, God’s way of life sent him there.
You cannot live this kind of life (a Christian Life) without the Holy Spirit of the Almighty God.
Most people think that by prayer, offering, worship and by other religious rites/rituals, that it makes Christianity a religion since other religions have the same or similar practices, but remember that Jesus came to teach God’s way of doing things even those things you call religion most of which are men’s doctrines opposed to God’s Way of life.
For example, by praying without the Holy Spirit, you can pray amiss and this can make God reject your prayers, your offering can also be rejected if you harbour unforgiveness in your heart or when you don’t offer to God cheerfully or you do it for recognitions and the praise of men, or for alterior motives ; worshipping God in the flesh is not acceptable to God, only those who worship in spirit and in truth actually worships:
John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
You see, all the things people think that makes Christianity a religion according to the world’s definition, can actually be done in the wrong way outside God’s own way of life, which is Christianity.
Religion will tell you how should pray, where you should pray, what you should pray, how long you should pray, what your prayer should contain, a particular time of the day, month or year to pray, who you should mix up with and who you should not, and all these being done in the flesh, but with the Holy Spirit, it is not so.
There are times you might want to do the normal cliche but the Holy Spirit will forbid you and tell something otherwise; a good example is when Apostle Paul wanted to go to Asia and evangelize and the Holy Spirit forbade him. In the eyes of a religious man, it would have been the right thing to do, since it is all about the Gospel, but no, what is right in man’s eyes which in all definitions is religion may not be what is right in God’s eyes, and what is right today may not be right tommorow, what may be right for Mr A today may not be right for him tomorrow, because God searches the heart and reins, He knows all things. He is the master planner, and this is Christianity. That is the difference.
Acts 16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 16:7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
So it is not a religion, it is God’s way of life, it is living God’s Will, it is behaving like Jesus Christ. It is being led by the Holy Spirit who constantly reminds you of the Will of God and guides you into all Truth.
May the Lord shine his light upon you, in Jesus name. Amen.