Not an Outward Religion

“The Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking.” Romans 14:17

In the above scripture and others, the apostle Paul declares that true religion does not consistent food and drink: not in any ritual observance – no outward thing, nothing exterior to the heart. The whole substance of true religion lives in “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Not even in the outward things such as forms or ceremonies, even of the most excellent kind. Supposing these to be ever so significant, ever so expressive of inward things; supposing them to be ever so helpful; even supposing them to be appointed by God himself. Yet true religion does not principally consist in these; and, strictly speaking, not at all. How much more much this whole true concerning such rights and forms as are only of human appointment!
The religion of Christ rises infinitely higher and lies immensely deeper than all these. These are good in their place, just so far is they are in fact subservient. And it is superstition to object while they are applied only as occasional helps to human weakness. But let no one carry them further. Let none dream that they have any intrinsic worth, or that religion cannot exist without him.
 The religion of Christ is inward.
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