What Is Christianity?
On Sunday we started a new series that we’ll be in together for the next couple of months. We’re going to be discussing the basics of Christianity — what it is and why it matters. This series will shore us up on what it means to be a Christian, what we believe as Christians, who Jesus is, what the Bible says, and so much more. This will be a great foundation for us — to know what we believe and why we believe it, and to be able to share our faith with others.
If you missed Sunday’s sermon, you can watch it here.
On Sunday Pastor Dan introduced us to this series by discussing what Christianity is and what it means to be a Christian. I loved how he started out by making the distinction of what kind of Christianity we hold to here at CrossRoads — biblical Christianity. This means that our authority comes from the Scripture, not solely from the leaders of the church or from our experiences.
I went to a university where the authority of the church was emphasized as equal or above the authority of the Bible. I had never been in an atmosphere like that, and it was challenging to me. I had a hard time with it because there were instances where the authority of the church changed its mind. So one thing that had been true before was no longer true, depending on who was in charge. And as Pastor Dan pointed out, in today’s world, many people depend on mystical or experiential Christianity. So what we experience or feel becomes our authority. But again, the danger in this comes from the fact that our experiences and feelings change often. And, what’s more, our feelings can often lead us astray because we are sinful people.
The only thing that is unchanging and reliable is the Word of God. And that’s where our authority ultimately comes from.
Pastor Dan talked about three claims of Christianity. 1. We can know God. 2. We can know God through Jesus Christ. 3. We can know God only through Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him.
Much of this comes down to who we say Jesus is. Pastor Dan went through four claims about Jesus — that He was simply a person, that he was a person exalted by God, that He was a divine being who inspired others to be divine, or that He was the unique God-man. The biblical view is the last one — Jesus was and is fully God and fully human. He is God’s Son, the only one who could save us from our sins.
My family and I were sick with a 24-hour bug the other day, so we spent a lot of time on the couch watching TV. The movie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was on, and my husband and I found ourselves getting swept up in the story. C.S. Lewis, a Christian, wrote these books, and so much of the story in his novels point us toward Jesus. In one scene in the movie, there are two siblings who are struggling with their younger sister’s story that she has found a magical world called Narnia. They don’t believe her. They have a conversation with an old professor and he asks them why they don’t believe her. He asks if she’s a liar. They say “no.” He asks if she’s crazy. They say “no.” And he says that if she’s not a liar, and she’s not crazy, then she probably should be believed.
This is what the argument for Jesus and His deity/humanity makes sense. Jesus died for His claims to be God. His disciples and hundreds of His other followers died and suffered for their claims about Jesus. Were they all liars? Were they all crazy? If not, maybe they should be believed!
Christianity claims that Jesus was fully God and fully human and came to save us from our sins so that we could know God.
Here’s what’s so amazing about this: the fact that we can truly know God. The fact that He invites us to know Him! He is the God of the universe, and we are sinful people who don’t deserve His love, grace or company. But because of God’s great love and compassion for us, He sent Jesus as the sacrifice for our sin.
What an amazing God! What an awesome faith that we have been invited into. What an amazing grace that saves us from hell and separation from God! These are the claims of Christianity. This is what we believe, and it is good news!
Looking forward to discussing this series with you! See you next week!