Luke 4:38 - 41
NKJV - 38 Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon's house. But Simon's wife's mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her. 39 So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.
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Very good question! Jesus Christ was to be the end of "religion" and the beginning of faith alone in Him. Romans 10:1-4 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Paul is addressing believers regarding his Jewish brethren, but what he is saying applies not only to them. It applies to his audience then and everyone today. Just as it was then, man wants to take some of the credit for salvation, but salvation comes by just the opposite. They "have not SUBMITTED themselves unto the righteousness of God." Man needs to let go of the false premise that they might please God by something THEY do or have done and thus 'earn their way in'. By doing so they then miss the entire purpose of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that HE made on the cross for all mankind. The requirement for salvation is to believe that Jesus Christ completed God's requirement for us (thus having faith in Him). Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast." Romans 4:4 "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt." What pleases God today is faith in Jesus Christ having already 'earned' our way in: Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Jesus Christ paid the full price for salvation on our behalf. There is no religious ceremony, rite, ritual, attendance, etc...that is required to become a true Christian. The requirement today, during God's dispensation of grace (Eph 3:2), is to have faith in Jesus Christ and the blood that He shed on our behalf: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 King James Version "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"
I would add that organization is not wrong in itself; it's just what people tend to do when they have a common goal or viewpoint on something. But of course, often the organization becomes the goal instead.
I would actually caution you against this position because it is the same mentality and approach as a man named "Korah" (Numbers 16:1-40). Korah reasoned that Yahweh God is universally accessible to all people without any need for 'organized religion.' He believed that the "Assembly of Yahweh" was just a phenomenon common to all men and anyone with enough knowledge could be 'like Moses' and lead other men as he saw fit while representing the nature of God. It certainly sounds reasonable enough on the surface, but Jesus Himself did everything He did on earth under the direct authority of Moses through those inhabiting what He called the 'chair of Moses,' (Matthew 23:2), which is also known as the supreme court or 'Sanhedrin.' The Greek koine word is 'kathedra' from which we derive the English term 'cathedral.' It is the symbolic essence of what has come to be known as 'organized religion.' In the same passage in Matthew 23:1-4, Jesus actually makes explicitly clear that these men are hypocrites who don't obey their own teachings, but that His disciples should obey their every word, (just as He does), just not their personal example. Why? Yahweh does care who is willing to take responsibility for the lives of other people in an 'organized' way. We even still have a new kind of 'Sanhedrin' that issues decrees for us to follow. They formally replaced the Sanhedrin of the Jewish faith and are recorded issuing these new decrees in Acts 16:4. While this is the Greek word 'dogma,' (which often has a negative modern connotation), it is identical to the Jewish 'mitzvot' of the era of the earlier testament of Moses presided over by the Sanhedrin. Christians often do not realize that we serve a God of holy laws who has a formally installed 'Assembly of the Firstborn' (Hebrews 12:23), similar to our modern 'Congress,' an actual military to enforce its laws, and a 'Supreme Court' presided over by the Apostles of Christ who continue to issue 'dogma' for us to follow. Unlike the dispensation of Moses and the Torah, we are not given these holy decrees for us to attain personal righteousness. They are now given to us to help us fulfill the unfolding will of God that is being revealed through Christ, His fully divine Personal Expression dedicated to unveiling all wisdom and knowledge to us, (Colossians 2:2-4). Yet, we are instructed to keep these 'pearls' safe at all times from the 'swine' (that is the 'glory hogs'), and the 'dogs' (the 'dogs of war' seeking new warfare applications, Matthew 7:6). How do we do this? Organized religion. "I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15). Are you grasping the full intensity of this holy word? The Church is the "pillar and support of the truth." Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life..." (John 14:6). Bewilderingly, the Church, (organized, anointed, and formally recognized by divine law), remains the 'pillar and support' of the work of God Himself as Jesus Christ our Lord. The word translated 'pillar' is the Greek koine 'stylos' which appears in scripture in depictions of powerful angels standing firmly upon feet and legs of fire. It is a descriptive title given directly to the Apostles, and is even described as an eternal reward of Christ given to select persons who 'overcome' during their time here on earth, (Revelation 10:1, Galatians 2:9, Revelation 3:12). And the term translated 'support' is the Greek koine "hedraiōma" which comes from the same word for the 'official chair' mentioned above and forming words like 'cathedral.' Feel this and know it. Organized religion always matters to God and isn't going anywhere. Unfortunately, it also reflects our current lack of connection to our own holy government, divine technology, and wisdom. However, just as in the case of Christ Himself, we are to humbly organize under it anyway.
Jesus did teach us a "religion." I think the Apostles also taught religion and an "organized" religion at that. Jesus and the Apostles expected us to organize and belong to organizations. You just can't help it. Like-minded people will come together, and form groups based on the ideas that they share in common. Yet we also have essential beliefs that indicate what Christians in general should believe. The Church, the totality of those who believe, the body of Christ, can be associated with a specific denomination, or branch of the Church, or unaffiliated with any denomination or branch of the Church. Many will disagree about which denomination or branch of the Church is within the Body of Christ, but at any extent they should all share some common practices and beliefs, regardless of whether they are a Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, etc... The dividing line isn't being a member of an "organized" religion, it is if they are following Christ or their own set of rules and regulations, or doing what is right in their own eyes.
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