Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Short Primer on Christianity



           It perhaps goes without saying, but, nevertheless, really does need to be said explicitly:  Christianity is and revolves around the person of Jesus Christ.  Anything less is not Christianity.  Christ is the second person of the Trinity, the triune God, with the Father and the Spirit – three persons, one God.  God the Father determined that in all things Christ would have preeminence (Colossians 1:18).  Therefore, the equal and full realities of Christ’s humanity and deity are of central importance.

            Christ’s humanity should not be suppressed, ignored, or diminished in order to protect his deity.  Christ’s deity must never be marginalized in order to bring his humanity to the fore.  Both the deity and humanity of Jesus must be carefully maintained at all times.  To do less is not Christianity.

            Only through this God-Man, Jesus, could redemption from an empty sinful way of life be accomplished for us.  This union of humanity and deity in Jesus alone is able to secure a new and fresh relationship with God, and do away with alienation, hate, death, and eternal torment.

            Jesus Christ is the ultimate prophet.  He has revealed to us the will of God for our salvation.  Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  Jesus has promised that the truth will set us free (John 8:32; 1 John 5:9-13).  Freedom involves knowledge, honesty, and decisions of faith, hope, and love whereby the truth is applied in one’s life.

            Jesus Christ is the ultimate priest.  He is the once-for-all offering as a sacrifice to atone for our sinfulness, to reconcile us to God, and now continually makes intercession for us (Romans 5:8-10; Hebrews 4:14, 5:6, 7:23-27, 9:11-12; 1 John 2:1).  As our representative, and the pioneer of our salvation, Jesus has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3).

            Jesus Christ is the universal King.  He is the rightful Ruler of all things (Matthew 21:5; John 18:36-37; Ephesians 1:20-23; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 1:5).  Jesus possesses all authority in heaven and on earth, and is Supreme over the Church.  He is able to make all things work together for good in life of his people (Romans 8:28-29).

            The church, therefore, is to do everything by completely wrapping herself around the person and work of Jesus Christ.  We are to continually unbend ourselves to conformity with prevailing cultural mores, and, instead, be thoroughly transformed through the complete renovation of our minds (Romans 12:1-2).  Our true spiritual act of worship in the church is to exalt the name of Jesus, praise Christ’s holy name, and enamor ourselves with his incredible grace, mercy, and peace.

            What this means, then, is that Christianity is not about being a particular nationality or ethnicity; is not merely a belief system; and, is not only an assent to certain facts and knowledge.  Rather, Christianity is a living relationship with Jesus, our Savior, Lord, Teacher, and Healer.  Christ scandalously died through an instrument of torture, the cross, which has become for us, ironically, our badge of honor and identity.  In short, since Jesus lived, died, and rose from death, we, too, as Christians, die to ourselves and live into a new life secured for us by Christ.  Through faith in this very unique God-Man, we are saved.


            This makes the church the Community of the Redeemed, a special people who are different than all other people because our lives are totally centered round Jesus.  Anything less is neither church, nor Christianity.  Christians are people secure in their identity, bold in their witness of Jesus, and concerned to serve the world in the words and ways of Christ, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  May it be so.

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