What is Christianity?
In our recent TBH (to be honest..) survey someone asked a very good question, “What is Christianity?” To some this may seem like a very obvious question but actually it can be quite difficult to give a very easy explanation for our faith. I remember being asked this question and being immediately baffled. I got really stressed out at the fact that I couldn’t give a simple complete answer to what seemed like such an obvious question. I mean…I’d been going to church for years and I couldn’t answer that question!!?? Man, I felt like such a loser. In my attempt to not look stupid I fumbled out some words that made NO SENSE AT ALL. My one moment to share my faith….and…epic FAIL! If you had to face that question, what would you say?
So, to help you along i’ve laid out 2 passages from the bible where I believe Christianity (and more specifically The Gospel – which is the central message of Christianity) is explained in simple, yet complete, detail. Hopefully it will help you with formulating your answer.
Here’s a great passage from Ephesians 2:1-10: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the bodyand the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. ButGod, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
And another one from Romans 3:21-31: “But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Mosesand the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.”
Remember that Christianity is not about how much you know about God, or how often you go to church, or even how much you speak about God, Christianity comes down to a relationship with God. Once you have that relationship (which is a free gift from God) all those other good things become things that you do out of love and not duty!