Religion can be defined as a system of beliefs and worships which includes a code of ethics and a philosophy of life. Well over 90% of the world's population adheres to some form of religion. The problem is that there are so many different religions. What is the right religion? What is true religion? The two most common ingredients in religions are rules and rituals. Some religions are essentially nothing more than a list of rules, dos and don'ts, which a person must observe in order to be considered a faithful adherent of that religion, and thereby, right with the God of that religion. Two examples of rules-based religions are Islam and Judaism. Islam has its five pillars that must be observed. .
Judaism has hundreds of commands and traditions that are to be observed. Buddhism and Hinduism are also primarily ritual-based religions, but can also to a lesser degree be considered rules-based. I believe that true religion is neither rules-based nor ritual-based, it is more about having a real relationship with God. True religion does have rules and rituals, but there is a crucial difference. In true religion, the rules and rituals are observed out of gratitude for the salvation God has provided NOT in an effort to obtain that salvation. I believe true religion, which is Biblical Christianity, has rules to obey (do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not lie, etc.) and rituals to observe (water baptism by immersion and Communion). Observance of these rules and rituals is not what makes a person right with God. Rather, these rules and rituals are the result of the relationship with God, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone as the Savior. False religion is doing things (rules and rituals) in order to try to earn God's favor. True religion is receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and thereby having a right relationship with God and then doing things (rules and rituals) out of love for God and desire to grow closer to him.