CHRISTIANITY IS JESUS
I do not pretend to be the protector of the Holy Grail. In fact, I do not pretend to be anything. But to summarize what has been a great and thought provoking series about “What is Christianity” I believe it can and should be defined by one word. That word is “Jesus”. Yes, Christianity is Jesus. The true and living and Risen Jesus. I realize that many people and denominations have made their own Jesus by giving Him traits which He does not have or removing some that He surely does. And true to form man has constructed a religion from what should be a pursuit to follow and love Jesus.
I am not attempting to be coy or nebulous. But if Christianity is not Jesus in every facet then it is not Christianity. I have used the word “system” and it is surely not a system. It is a deep and profound relationship between a Redeemer and His redeemed; between a Master and His servants; between a God and His children; between a Lord and His subjects. And although I use some metaphors and similes this relationship goes much deeper than human words can adequately describe. Anyone who has been redeemed and come to know and experience the life giving glory of the Redeemer is often hard pressed to express in words the essence of this amazing relationship.
Have you ever wept during a time of worship or even while listening to an inspiring testimony from another believer? And have others wondered why you are crying or overwhelmed by emotion? And if that other person does not know Jesus what can you actually communicate to him that can allow him to enter into the sacred presence only the redeemed can know? You see, the word “Christianity” seems to strip what we have in Jesus of its rightful glory just because it has been created to define a religious sect. What we have in Jesus is a living, breathing, and powerful mystery which continues to unravel itself within our hearts and lives. Even the Apostle Paul who saw the glory of the Risen Christ said “That I may know Him…”. Doctrine may be helpful but unless it aids us in knowing Jesus than it is no better than some Biblical Dewey Decimal system.
Men love their doctrines. They love their local churches. They love their denominations. But those only dilute their love for Jesus. Jesus must have all the preeminence in everything. Think about that. If we knew who Jesus is in all His fullness and if we gave Him the preeminence in every area of our lives would not the world begin to see Him and not us? That would bring such glory to our Blessed Redeemer! But somewhere along the line the church has become distracted and even derailed. Instead of being known for Jesus we are known for our moral convictions or our denomination or our pastor or our doctrinal persuasions or our buildings or a host of other things. If we are not known for Jesus than we are frauds.
Gal.2:20 - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Oh the treasure that can be found in that one statement! We are not living our lives for Him; we are living His life for Him! That is not a play on words but that is the difference between being a follower of Jesus and being a part of Christianity. There is a world, and I do mean a world, of difference between the two. We must reckon ourselves dead and we as new creations are alive in Him. That is Christianity according to the New Testament. Everything else is little more than some religious system which uses the name of Jesus without the power of Jesus. And without His power that is no Jesus at all.
Rev.2: 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
There it is. Unless we have a soul searching return to Jesus with an abundance of repentance than we will continue to be a part of the broader landscape called Christianity but we will be walking a path of our own and not His. Jesus must be our life not just our orthodoxy.