Religion-based application focuses on what must I do first;
Gospel-centered application focuses on what Jesus has done first.
Religion-based application addresses only the fruit of our behavior;
Gospel-centered application strikes at the root of heart transformation.
Religion-based application says, “I must obey; therefore I’m accepted.”
Gospel-centered application says, “I’m accepted; therefore I gladly obey.”
Religion-based application explains that what you do defines who are you;
Gospel-centered application explains who you are defines what you do.
Religion-based application leads to emotional highs and lows based on shaky spiritual performances;
Gospel-centered application hitches your affections to your identity & acceptance in Christ.
Religion-based application has a philosophy of “try harder and do better”;
Gospel-centered application has a philosophy of “repent, believe, and repeat”.
Religion-based application says my problems are manageable and I can fit it;
Gospel-centered application says my sins are massive and only Jesus can fix it.
Religion-based application emphasizes my will power and assumed competency;
Gospel-centered application emphasizes God’s grace in my weakness and dependency.
Religion-based application takes ten looks at self and one look at Christ;
Gospel-centered application takes one look at self and takes ten looks at Christ.
The rest of the article is a good read as well.