Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What is Christianity?


(This will be the first in a series)

Is Christianity a set of doctrinal beliefs? Is it a lifestyle based upon a set of truths? Is it the path to heaven? Or is it a path which begins on earth and ultimately leads to heaven? Granted, the word “Christianity” is a label used for all kinds of religious expressions which include Jesus. It is a colloquialism. But I use it in this setting to refer to the genuine faith of the Scriptures. What really is the Christian faith?

Matt.16: 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?


Anonymous said...

Interesting! I am certainly not a theologian and am just giving my opinion, since this is a comment section and does not require pre-requisites for giving comments.

I've always wondered if a believer in the early church was formally given an identifiable name. I've not read where they were called christians. In Revelation, I don't recall any reference to the "christians". Rather, those in Christ were referred to as the remnant, the Bride, His children, His servants, the brethren, the saints, the redeemed, the Church, those written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and those multitudes who John saw one of the elders worshipping the Throne and asked him, "Who are these arrayed in white robes and where did they come from?" And I(John) said to him, "Sir, you know". So he said to me, "these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14).

I sometimes wonder, just me, if the Lord never wanted us to give ourselves a brand, or a name, because it causes unbelievers to stereotype all and categorize them as the world does. Our actions should show whether we are Christ-redeemed or not.

Christians in Name only are not showing the true power of Christ, and the name "christian" is a loose term used for those who prefer it to mean they are religious or practice a man-made body of religious believers.

I think christianity, or "In Christ" is us, believers, doing everything, including breathing, in Him, submitting every thought, action, praise, every blink of our eye to Him.


Rick Frueh said...

"I sometimes wonder, just me, if the Lord never wanted us to give ourselves a brand, or a name, because it causes unbelievers to stereotype all and categorize them as the world does. Our actions should show whether we are Christ-redeemed or not."


Anonymous said...

Acts 11:26
And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

Acts 26:28
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

1 Peter 4:16
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

michael said...

Yes, excellent insights by J.

My mentoring Pastor many years ago gave an anointed teaching titled "Building the Work of God". He opened the Scripture and taught there is an order to this Work. The first thing the Holy Spirit does is reveal Jesus Christ enlightening one to their lost condition before God so that they "see", realizing it is Christ who is our Savior. The next thing the Holy Spirit does leading us into Truth is pour the love of God into our whole being, our spirit, soul and body. After this spiritual knowledge is rooted within us He then reveals to us the next reality in order, the unique Will and Purpose of God to us for us so our focus in the world, what our calling is, what it is we are to do uniquely serving Him and where, becomes clear. Once these things become apparent in our lives, we begin producing the fruit of the Spirit, now being continually washed and sanctified and justified by the Word of His Grace. Finally, as is the purpose of God calling us out of the world, we then are ready for the spiritual warfare that we have been called too. For some, our place is in exercising Divine Authority in the body, the Church, unique to where we have been placed to serve. Or we have another function, whatever it is it is to become recognized by the Church where we have been placed to serve The Lord?

First, the foundation, Christ.
Second, the love of God.
Third, the eternal purpose and Vision of God.
Fourth, unity in the Body.
Fifth, doctrines of the Faith!

There is no other foundation that can be laid than Jesus Christ is Lord! He is the Savior of His people. He brings us into the love of God praying to the Father for us His people that God would put that love in us. From this relationship He trains us and disciples us to be living epistles in the world and finally from this we then in His Name engage ourselves in the affairs of Christ in the world praying as royal priests and speaking the Words of God to this fallen world!

Again I'd note where I began that the comment by J was excellent noting these Words from Acts:

So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. (Acts 11:25, 26 ESV)

It was the world that coined the word "Christians" to note those bearing or now producing the same fruit of the Spirit as Christ!

Looking forward to the next post!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anon. 7:16 - I never remembered reading this and should have checked a concordance. Apparently these are the three verses where 'christian' was written. I'm seeing how there is a great responsibility a christian has to show Jesus to the world; I'm just being reminded again and again that I have to be like an Ambassador and can't take the reference lightly.

Great comments here and am too looking forward to the next post too.


Anonymous said...

The word Christian means someone belonging to Christ.