What is the struggle that will always confront those who have given themselves to Christ? It is the inclination our natural man has toward the things of the religious world. We know that the sinful world and material world are not of Christ. What draws our natural man now is that world where Christ is talked about and yet is absent. The world of religion can fill us with something related to Christ after the living Christ has left. In this way our natural man, with its inclination toward religion, is our closest kinsman.
Simply put, we are controlled by our natural man, and our natural man is controlled by religion. When we believers are living by our natural man, we are controlled by religion more than Christ.
Religion makes people lose some of their ability to reason, for it is governed by zeal, not intellect. It seems that religion should bring people to Christ. However, when people focus on religion, Christ disappears along with reason. In this way our natural man, controlled by religion, becomes our closest relative, even when we desire that our closest relative should be Christ.
Monday: “An Inclination Towards the Law”