The world today is inundated with a plethora of religions, containing all kinds of different beliefs, rules, traditions and requirements. Many today look at Christianity as just another religion or religious title, however it is much more than that. Today we’re going to take a look at the question: “What is Christianity?” and why it is so much more than just another religion?
A Christian is a person that professes belief in Jesus as being the Christ (Messiah). Therefore, Christianity is the professing belief in Jesus as the Christ and the pursuit or goal to live like Christ, follow His ways and characteristics. In essence, you could coin Christianity as people being “Like Christ”.
So what was Jesus Christ like?
In order to answer this, we need to take a look into the Bible (Word of God) to see how Jesus Christ lived and the characteristics He showed. It tells us in the Bible that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and was sent to die on the cross for our sins. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave is only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life“. Giving your life for somebody else is one of the most selfless acts of love one can do.
The Bible also describes the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-”But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.” These fruit or visible outward characteristics, were all seen in the life of Jesus Christ.
It is important to note and understand that Jesus Christ is part of the Trinity. The Trinity denotes one God-Head in 3 persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. This can be a bit confusing to understand at first, but think of it this way: a woman can be a mother, a daughter, and a wife. She is one woman but 3 different persons. When God sent Jesus to the earth, He gave Him his Spirit. When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, He sent the Holy spirit (God’s Spirit) to live within us. Luke 24:49a “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised.” So by the power of the Holy Spirit, we as Christians can have the Spirit of God which displays all of those good and positive qualities.
The Bible also shows us that Jesus was very Compassionate, He loved and forgave the very people who put Him to death on the cross. Luke 23:34a -”Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Throughout the Bible, the accounts of Jesus’ life and the works and outward characteristics He displayed were nothing short of perfect and honorable, which produced happiness and peace. These are characteristics that the world really needs today. As time goes on we are seeing more and more of the sinful nature come to life as people consistently move away from God. It shows us in the Bible that our own flesh and nature is sinful: Galatians 5:19-”When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.”
It is a sad fact that while many call themselves “Christians” and many say they follow Christianity, it does not show through their actions. It is simply a title or religion to them and it ends there. There is no pursuit to be “like Christ”. Real genuine Christianity is a lifestyle, not a title or a religion. It is a way of living, a constant striving to show the fruit of the Spirit and mimic the lifestyle of Jesus Christ each and every day. This is shown to us in the Bible in James 2:14-20:
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”–but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?”
It is not enough to label yourself a “Christian” or say that you follow “Christianity”, you have to make the choice to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. I trust that this article has answered the question of “What is Christianity?” and has given you a better understanding of what it is all about.