It’s not a lifestyle. It’s not rules of conduct. It’s not a society of people who are joined together by the sprinkling or covering of water. Christianity is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The title “the Christ” is from the Greek word christos, a translationof the Hebrew term “Messiah” meaning “anointed one.” Christians are followers of Jesus, who is the Christ.
If you have heard the good news of the gospel and believed that Jesus is the Son of God who gave Himself for your sins, you have eternal life just by believing in Him as Savior. But more than salvation, Jesus Christ calls us into a close relationship with Himself.
Jesus Christ is our master—the one to whom we should willingly give our obedience. He is our model of how to live as humans in a dependent relationship with God, and He is our mentor in walking with us to show us how to adorn ourselves with godliness.
Jesus’ disciples 2000 years ago were no different than we are except they physically beheld the risen Christ. We must see Him through eyes of faith and allow the Gospels to leap off the page revealing our Lord because Christianity is Christ!
Understanding the Gospel message as an accomplished fact
We humans have a spiritual problem that can be compared to death caused by a fatal disease. It’s a two-fold problem. Sin is the disease. Everyone has it. And, death is the result of the disease. We are born spiritually dead sinners. Our double whammy problem demanded a two-fold solution. The great news is that God acted on our behalf.
For the problem of sin, people need sin to be removed and replaced with righteousness. God’s answer is Christ’s death on thecross. Because of His finished work on the cross, we can now be cured of the disease.
For the problem of death, people need the restoration of life. God’s answer is Christ’s resurrection. We can now be given life that is forever.
The Gospel message included the answer to both spiritual problems.
“Jesus Christ laid down his life for you…so that he could give his life to you…so that he could live his life through you.” (Ian Thomas, The Saving Life of Christ)
What faith is and is not
Faith is not a blind belief or mindless gullibility. It is not a life of passivity and doing nothing. Faith is also not a religious feeling like a tingle or high from performing some ritual.
Faith is a “belief, trust, and commitment of mind and heart to something or someone.”
Faith is intelligent. That means first you need to know about the something or someone. It is based on information about the object of your faith.
Faith is also decisive. It involves the element of assent or agreement that the information about that someone or something is true.
Faith requires an act of the will. Any conscious choice that involves trust or dependence on someone or something requires a deliberate action to both trust the information and act on it.
Simply put, faith is a full commitment to Christ. We are to respond to His action by saying yes to faith in Jesus Christ and jumping into the new life God has for us.
God offers you salvation from the destruction caused by sin. He offers you this salvation by His grace that is given to you. Grace is an undeserved gift. By God’s grace, you are saved through your faith alone. It is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast of their efforts. Ephesians 2:8-9
Through getting to know Him and what He has done for us, we discover that the treasure we have in Jesus Christ is worth devoting our lives to Him.
Devotion to God grows as we learn how much we can trust Him.
There are two aspects to trusting God.
1) Trusting God while you do your part His way. To do your part His way involves your knowing what His way is. That comes from knowing what He says. That comes from reading and studying the Bible. You trust that His way is the best way so you are willing to step forward and do your part His way. Sometimes that involves just waiting.
2) Trusting Him to do His part alongside what you are doing. That’s trusting God to work in the background of life and make things happen in those areas over which you have no direct access. You trust Him to work and are patient to let Him do so.
Knowing God and trusting Him increases your devotion to Him, your loyal love for Him. And, that leads to expressing your devotion in a life that pleases Him—a life of godliness. Godliness flows from knowing Christ.
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever! Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)
The treasure you have in Jesus Christ is more powerful and valuable than anything you could substitute for Him. After chasing everything the world has to offer, nothing is more satisfying than Him. You can say with your heart to Him, “My treasure in you, Lord Jesus, is more powerful and valuable than anything I could substitute for You. Please confirm that in my heart.” Then, watch what He does!
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with such love for God that you will want to live a life that pleases Him.