Saturday, August 25, 2012
True Christianity: The Real Thing - August 25, 2012
Isaiah 53:5 (New Century Version)
5 But he was wounded for the wrong we did; he was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to Him, and we are healed because of his wounds.
Ephesians 2:1-9 (New International Reader's Version)
1 You were living in your sins and lawless ways. But in fact you were dead. 2 You used to live as sinners when you followed the ways of this world. You served the one who rules over the spiritual forces of evil. He is the spirit who is now at work in those who don't obey God. 3 At one time we all lived among them. We tried to satisfy what our sinful nature wanted to do. We followed its longings and thoughts. God was angry with us and everyone else because of the kind of people we were.
4 But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. 5 So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God's grace has saved you.
6 God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom because we belong to Christ Jesus. 7 He has done it to show the riches of his grace for all time to come. His grace can't be compared with anything else. He has shown it by being kind to us because of what Christ Jesus has done.
8 God's grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn't come from anything you do. It is God's gift. 9 It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it.
Colossians 2:13-14 (New Living Translation)
13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
What is true Christianity? Here it is: True Christianity is acknowledging that we have sinned against God who created us, believing that He provided us with a way to be reconciled (re-establish a close relationship) with Him. He sent His Son Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, to live a perfect life in "our shoes", and teach us what God expected from us.
He then surrendered himself to evil men to be sacrificed, by his death on the cross, as payment for all the sins that we, and everyone committed and would commit forever. He went even further by coming back to life after three days, to prove that he was God as he said he was, and he is waiting for us to be re-united with him for eternity in heaven. All anyone has to do to be saved from eternal separation from God, spiritual death is believe this.
What is so offensive about that message? Is it the fact that to be a true Christian that you would have to acknowledge that your are a sinner, that you have alienated yourself from God by being disobedient to Him, and that you have chosen to go your own way? Is it because that if you admit that there is a God, and that there is a Jesus, and that you would have to face up to the fact that someday you will stand before Him to be judged? Is it because you would rather say "no thanks" to Jesus and say, "I will make it to heaven on my own efforts"? Is there any other faith, any other religion that has a better way to be welcomed by God?
This is how I see it: Nothing else, no other faith, nothing I can do on my own can save me. Nothing else gives me the assurance that "I will be saved when I die." All I need to do is accept God's FREE gift. In turn I try to live a life obedient and pleasing to Him, as a way to thank Him for making it so simple, so easy, to be with Him when I die.
Photo from The Passion of the Christ, 2004
This is a reposting of a series I did about what it really means to be a Christian. If you are not quite sure what being Christian means, why not read the posts over the next few days and find out.