ALL THINGS OUTSIDE OF CHRIST BEING RELIGION
What then is religion? In brief, anything that is outside of Christ yet appears to be rendering worship to God is religion. Anything that is not Christ yet teaches people the teachings of God is religion. In the universe, only Christ Himself is not religion; only Christ Himself is the salvation of God. What is religion? Religion is any kind of worship and any kind of work outside of Christ. If our worship to God is not related to Christ, is not mingled with Christ, and is not Christ doing it with us from within, then it is religion.
REAL SALVATION AND WORSHIP BEING CHRIST MINGLED WITH MAN
Then, what is the salvation of Christ? And what is real worship to God? The salvation of Christ is Christ mingled with us. The real worship to God is the Christ who is in us, who puts us upon Himself, and who fills us with Himself, worshipping God with us. In this worship we are mingled with Christ. In this worship Christ is there. This worship not only comes from Christ but also contains Christ. Christ is in this worship. He is mingled with us, He fills us with Himself, and He puts us upon Himself. To illustrate, we may say that a cup of tea is water, and we may also say that it is tea. Since tea has been blended into the water, the water is no longer pure water but tea-water. The true Christian living is also like this. A Christian still conducts himself as a man, but he has Christ mingled with him. Although a cup of tea is water, the element of tea has been added into the water; hence, if someone drinks this cup of water again, the taste will be different because the element of tea has been added into the water.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SALVATION AND RELIGION
Please remember that a Christian is a person who has Christ mingled with him. Christ has entered into this person to be his center, his goal, his content, and his everything. Christ is within him living out a mingled living, a mingled human life. Christ is in his worship, his conduct, his humility, and his love toward others. This is to be a Christian. Sometimes we may meet someone who is so proper and upright and who is a genuinely good person, but in him we cannot sense Christ or taste God. Other times we may meet someone, and as soon as we contact him, we touch Christ. That person is not only good and proper; he is more than good and proper. Within him there is an element which is not found in others and which is hard to describe. This is the salvation of Christ. Christ being mingled with man is the salvation of Christ. Worship without Christ and improved behavior without Christ are religion. Worship with Christ mingled within and improved behavior with Christ mingled within are the salvation of Christ. If we can discern this matter, we are blessed.
(Dead to Law but Living to God, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)