Christianity: Are You Missing the Point?

 
 
 
 

Christianity: Are You Missing the Point?

 

Shepherd's StaffThere is a VERY fundamental question I would like to ask you: If you are a Christian, do you REALLY understand what Christianity is all about?

Some people think that Christianity is all about having a good marriage and raising decent kids. Others think it is about getting their personal needs met. Still others believe that Christianity is a about social projects, such as feeding the poor or helping out within their communities. Still others believe that Christianity is about political action, and “get out the vote” drives.

While these things might be good in their own place, they ALL miss the point: Christianity is about CHRIST. The “sheep” are supposed to be following the “shepherd.” Somehow Jesus Christ — and His Gospel — have seemed to be forgotten by many of those claiming to belong to Him.

Have you ever noticed the ROOT WORD of the term “Christianity”? We don’t have to get really deep in order to understand this concept. Let’s just start off this article with an examination of the term by which our religion is named. The root word of “Christianity” is the word “Christ.”

So while the things names above might be good in their own place, they are SECONDARY (at best) to the principle message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, our faith would have different names:

  • “Family-anity” would be the name if it was about about marriage and raising kids.
  • “Prosperity-anity” would be the name if it was about money and financial/material issues.
  • “Social-ianity” would be the name if it was aboutt community projects.
  • “Political-ianity” would be the name if it was aboutt getting the “right” people into public office.

But since God’s Word calls it “CHRIST-ianity” (Christianity), then it should be pretty evident that NONE of the above “ideas” are primary to the biblical faith.

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Only One Faith

Jude said something pretty bold about genuine Christianity. He basically said that there is ONLY ONE true faith in Jesus Christ, and that all other “versions” (to include those I mentioned above, as well as many more which could be named) are NOT the real thing:

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

(Jude verse 3, NKJV, emphasis mine)

There is only one faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints” by the Lord Jesus Christ through His apostles. And these apostles made it pretty clear WHO and WHAT genuine Christianity is all about:

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth….

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

(An excerpt from Colossians 1:3-18, NKJV, emphasis mine)

Note that “in all things” Christ is to have “the preeminence.” The Greek word originally used in the writing of the New Testament within verse 18 above is, “prōteuō” (πρωτεύω, Strong’s #4409). This word is used only ONCE in the entire New Testament, and it means simply, “to be first, hold the first place” (Thayer’s Lexicon).

This same Greek word, however, is derived from another Greek word, “prōtos” (πρῶτος, Strong’s #4413), which is far more prolific in the New Testament, having been used by the original writers about 100 times. It means “FIRST” in a couple of important ways:

  1. FIRST…in time or place, in any succession of things or persons.

  2. FIRST…in rank, influence, honor; chief; principal.

(Source: Thayer’s Lexicon)

In other word, Jesus Christ is to be FIRST and FOREMOST the focus of genuine Christianity, because He was first in time and place; and He is the FIRST in rank, influence, honor — being the “Chief” and “Principle” of the Church. Look again at the passage from Colossians chapter one above, and notice what it said. ALL these elements of Jesus Christ being “first and foremost” (i.e. “preeminent”) are included in the description of Him.

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The Definition of Idolatry

So this bring us back to our original question above: If you are a Christian, do you REALLY understand what Christianity is all about?

If you thought it was about ANYTHING other than Jesus Christ and His Gospel, then you do NOT have genuine Christianity. You might have a religion; but any OTHER religion must — by definition — be man-made. It cannot possibly be the faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints,” because your version of “Christianity” does NOT match the one revealed in the Bible.

Thus, ANY alleged “Christianity” that is in conflict with the one delivered to the saints by the Bible, is a form of idolatry…and thus, sin (see Exodus chapters 19-20).

What is an idol? A “god” that one has invented. What is idolatry? The “religion” that was invented along with that “god” as a method of “worship” of that idol.

So ALL man-made religions, are by their very character, idolatry — EVEN if they call it “Christianity.”

Please listen: A very REAL Jesus went to a very REAL Cross, and died a very REAL death for your sins and mine. This very same Jesus was raised from the dead in a very REAL resurrection, and appeared to His very REAL apostles, and dictated to them the very REAL Gospel they were to give to the world through their preaching and teaching:

Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

(Luke 24:44-48, NKJV, words of Christ in red)

Having delivered His REAL Gospel to His apostles, do you know what they preached and taught? The very thing Jesus commanded them to preach:

The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

(Acts 10:36-43, NKJV, emphasis mine)

In other words, the REAL Gospel is the same thing that was preached by the original apostles. NOTHING ELSE can possibly be that same faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints.”

And if you thought Christianity was about ANYTHING other than Christ and His REAL Gospel, then you are either unsaved — or at the very least, you are lacking the proper foundation upon which you can build a solid genuine faith in Jesus.

That is why I gathered a team of volunteers around me to help me produce the FREE audio MP3 series,The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel.” Therein, I walk you through the Scriptures, ancient history, and even some logic, in order to reveal clearly from the Bible what the REAL Gospel is — and what it is not.

The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel (cover art)

(Click the graphic to view the MP3 DOWNLOAD page within a new browser window.)

Again, this series is absolutely FREE and available for download right now. Either CLICK HERE or upon the cover art above graphic, in order to go to the download page for this series. Once there, you will find download instructions on that very page, along with further information about this series.

My team and I certainly do hope that you will take advantage of this FREE teaching. So please view the download page for more information about its contents.

Always in Jesus,

-Rich Vermillion

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Posted in Bible Faith, Christianity, Church, Gospel, idolatry, Religion, Salvation and tagged , , , , , , , , .

7 Comments

  1. This message is very clear and true to the gospel. Thanks for sharing it with us because it gives us the opportunity to search our own hearts to know what truth is in us, and to fill it with the “real gospel” so that His truth becomes our reason for being Christians.

  2. Hi Rich, can I publish your articles in our Ezine on occasion?
    I’ll link back to your page and like to include a bio, if you can provide one, please. Good stuff! I want to share!

    • Jeanice, thank you for asking.

      Of course, the standard “netiquette” is to publish only an excerpt of the other person’s article (perhaps 1-4 paragraphs), and then provide the readers a link back to the original article if they wish to finish reading it. If that is what you had in mind, then I would be honored if you published excerpts from our articles from time to time, as you seem to be led of the Lord. 🙂

      If you had something else in mind, then please use my contact form on the Contact Page and drop me a note to let me know what you have in mind.

      You can excerpt some data to compile a short bio for either Donna or me (depending on whose article you are citing) from our “About/Biography” page.

      And thank you so much for the kind words. Blessings to you and your family.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  3. This article is like a breath of fresh air. It encourages me and strengthens my faith. I smiled when I read the suggestion that our faith would have a different name if it were not Christ-centered, such as “Prosperity-anity” would be the name if it was about money and financial/material issues. God bless you, Rich, always enjoy reading your articles. Also watched the mini video interview with Carol Williamson that is posted on the sidebar. Thumbs up!

  4. Let me know when you get into the series, Gregg. You will find far more “meat” in there than what most people expect, since the word “fundamentals” is in the title. 😉

    Also, the side teachings on practical workings of ministry will likely bless you tremendously.

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich

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