31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slaveto sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
If you think that Christianity is all about obeying a never ending set of rules, then you’ve completely missed the point of what Jesus died on the cross for. And while missing the point will cost you an eternity, this misconception is probably not your fault. You’ve probably met a few self-righteous people who love to judge other people and pile an unbearable burden of rules upon other people. Jesus warned about these people, they were called Pharisees and Scribes in their time but could easily be the pastors and everyday Christian of this age (Mat 23:1-29).
The rule of thumb is that if gaining God’s favor in deviates in any way from faith in the free gift of the cross of Christ to trying to become right with God through the things you do or abstain from, then repent! If we feel that by being a Christian we need to DO more works, then we belittle Christ’s sacrifice by basically claiming that it was insufficient in justifying us. We didn’t deserve to be saved from our sins, yet He gave us His life in love. Grace undeserved. Every time we deviate towards righteousness by works, it minimizes the cross of Jesus.
I personally believe that if you’ve really encountered Christ and truly understand what He has done for you, then He sets you free from slavery to sin and false piety. Jesus gave me everything: eternal life and a mission in this world. It’s a relieving, assuring, and joyful freedom and I want other people to accept Christ for this reason! Not to burden them with rules and regulations, but give them the chance to receive real freedom and a certainty of an eternity of true pleasure spent with God.
But what about ‘good works’ you say? Sure we do good works, but no longer out of a burden to be a ‘religious believer’, Instead we are compelled to gently lead others to this same freedom we experienced out of a heart of thanksgiving with the same love that Christ loved us with. Always with the awareness that our status as children of God has nothing to do with what we did, anymore than the works of an orphan who has been adopted by loving parents.