What is a Christian? I have a friend that wrote a really interesting blog today on lent. He admittedly comes at it from a non-Christian point of view (If you are particularly sensitive beware). This is a great guy by all standards that I can measure. I met him years ago and when we first met we hit it off. Like old bro’s that had common interests.
Trying to even remember back then I’m not sure if I was truly converted at the time or not, but I was certainly professing to be a Christian.
There are those that “profess” Christianity. There are those that are truly Christians, they desire to serve the Lord, they do it with right intentions, sometimes failing miserably in their sin, but none-the-less they desire to serve Christ.
Then, of course, there is also the unbelieving world. Those that have no interest. They are fine to leave it alone.
I’m going to keep this very basic, not be too theological.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
We must start here to understand Christianity. God created all things by the power of His word. There was nothing but God before creation, eternal, and self-existent. No beginning, no end. He didn’t create out of boredom or loneliness, He created to glorify Himself.
In the garden God allows Adam to make choices, shall we say, and Adam falls into sin by disobeying God. That’s simple enough and sad as a representative of all mankind Adam has plunged us all into sin. Paul affirms this through Romans chapter 5 verses 12-21.
Most people acknowledge their sinfulness in some respects. We all know we are not “perfect”. If you have children you know they are disobedient and self-centered. This is the nature they are born with. It’s not difficult to identify the truth of the Bible here if we are honest. You know that if you leave your wallet sitting around someone will steal it. That’s not a tough concept.
So what? What’s the point?
The point is Jesus Christ. He being God in the flesh came to rescue sinners from their sin. Our relationship with God has been severed through sin. We are born at enmity with God and because of this, we cannot be in a right relationship with Him. This is the purpose of Christ’s mission which beautifully articulates the purpose of glorifying Himself. The greatest act of love ever shown is to lay down one’s life for another.
And yet God, while we were sinners did this.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake. Not for everyone’s sake. For those that believe sake. God made Christ to be sin, who had never sinned. The believing ones might receive God’s righteousness and goodness and receive a restored relationship with God.
That’s it. That’s the simplicity of the message of Christianity. No matter how “good” you are, you can’t be perfect. That is the point. You have to surrender your self-goodness to the goodness of another. It’s a universal message of hope.
It’s not about a set of rules and do this, or don’t do that, it’s not about religious ceremonies or traditions. It’s not about smearing some ashes on your forehead or giving up candy for 40 days. Okay, maybe I should do that, but it doesn’t improve my standing before God.
True Christianity revolves around Christ. Don’t miss that during this religious ceremonial time of the year.