Christianity…What It Is and Is Not

Christianity…What It Is and Is Not

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

”Christianity is NOT about a new moral teaching—as though we were morally clueless and in need of some fresh or clearer guidelines.
Christianity isn’t about Jesus offering a wonderful moral example, as though our principal need was to see what a life of utter lover and devotion to God and to other people would look like, so that we could try to copy it.
Nor is (the point of) Christianity about Jesus offering, demonstrating, or even accomplishing a new route by which people can ‘go to heaven when they die.’
Christianity isn’t about giving the world fresh teaching about God himself—though clearly, if the Christian claim is true, we do indeed learn a great deal about who God is by looking at Jesus.
Christianity is all about the belief that the living God, in fulfillment of his promises and as the climax of the story of Israel, has accomplished all this—the finding, the saving, the giving of new life—in Jesus. He has done it. With Jesus, God’s rescue operation has been put into effect once and for all. A great door has swung open in the cosmos which can never again be shut. It’s the door to the prison where we’ve been kept chained up. We are offered freedom; freedom to experience God’s rescue for ourselves, to go through the open door and explore the new world to which we now have access. …this new world is indeed a place of justice, spirituality, relationship, and beauty, and we are not only to enjoy it as such but to work at bringing it to birth on earth as in heaven.”

—–N.T. Wright in “Simply Christian”

We as Christians and followers of Jesus Christ often miss the boat when it comes to the great truths of God and His relationship with his creation…and specifically with us. We tend to focus on the minutia of the faith…and ignore completely the wondrous gift of freedom that has been bestowed on us. God through Jesus has set us free. Once, for all time, completely, perfectly, God has given us a freedom that surpasses anything we can know or experience on our own.
What do you focus on in your daily Christian life that you might consider now to be minutia? Is it God not answering a prayer the way you want him to answer it? Is it whether or not the Elders of the church are allowing too much “variety” in worship services? Perhaps it’s the tattoo that is sported by the new church member. Or maybe you are having issues with the way the preacher preaches, or how long his sermons are.
Whatever, please take note of what God did through Jesus Christ and ask yourself if you really need to expend precious time, energy, and treasure on those things that really don’t matter that much. And focus instead on what God has done for us…you included…in giving us freedom. As Paul says, “So, Christ has truly set us free!” (Galatians 5:1) And it was Jesus Himself who said, “And if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8:36)
Bill & Gloria Gaither have captured this concept well in the song, “Let Freedom Ring.” I’ve posted the lyrics before, but will do so again. Read them. Understand them. Believe them.

Deep within the heart has always known that there was freedom
Somehow breathed into the very soul of life
The prisoner, the powerless, the slave have always known it
There’s something that keeps reaching for the sky

And even life begins because a baby fights for freedom
And songs we love to sing have freedom’s theme
Some have walked through fire and flood to find a place of freedom
And some faced hell itself for freedom’s dream

Let freedom ring wherever minds know what it means to be in chains
Let freedom ring wherever hearts know pain
Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key
We can be free and we can sing, let freedom ring

God built freedom into every fiber of creation
And He meant for us to all be free and whole
When my Lord bought freedom with the blood of His redemption
His cross stamped pardon on my very soul

I’ll sing it out with every breath, I’ll let the whole world hear it
This hallelujah anthem of the free
That iron bars and heavy chains can never hold us captive
The Son has made us free and free indeed

Let freedom ring down through the ages from a hill called Calvary
Let freedom ring wherever hearts know pain
Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key
You can be free and you can sing let freedom ring
Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key
You can be free and you can sing let freedom ring
You can be free and you can sing, let freedom ring, let freedom ring (Video of “Let Freedom Ring” by the Gaither Vocal Band)

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