Many say that christianity is a religion but I disagree. Others say it is a way of life, a preference, a practise, a faith or an outlook. I disagree with this in one sense whilst agreeing with it in another. Let me explain.
The Oxford dictionary defines religion like this;
- The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially personal God or gods.
- A particular system of faith and worship
- A pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance
Christianity might touch on all of the above, however is not any of the above. Christianity definitely concerns a Way, a Life, a Preference, a Faith and an Outlook. Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). Paul states that this life we now live in the flesh we live by the Faith of The Son of God (Galatians 2:20). God spoke of Jesus saying “This is My Son in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him” (Matthew 17:5). Christianity definitely concerns a belief, and worship of a personal God and it definitely concerns a pursuit of supreme importance. But, even the sum of all these things is still not Christianity.
Christianity is a Person. Christianity is Christ Jesus. That’s why the early believers were labelled Christians by those around them, because they were all about Christ, a Person. And there’s no comparison between Jesus Christ and Buddha, Muhammad, Allah, the universe or a ‘god of your own understanding‘ which these days can be anything or anyone. None of these but Jesus Christ can love you! He doesn’t compare with any of them or with any other thing. He is of supreme importance indeed because He is Supreme over all! He reigns supreme over all things, all realms! He is incomparable. There is nothing that equals Him. Nothing in heaven or earth, past, present or future.
So when people ask me what religion I follow, I say I’don’t follow any religion, I follow Jesus Christ. I’m a Christ follower. I am a Christian yes. But I don’t follow any religion.
Below is an exerpt from one of T. Austin Sparks’ messages. I could never say it better than him, so enjoy 🙂
The time is coming, yes, and has already come, when true worshippers will worship in spirit and in reality. Indeed, the Father looks for men who will worship Him like that. (John 4:23 Phillips)
Jesus said to the woman, “the hour cometh, and now is.” Then He dismissed the whole system that had existed up to that time. It was the whole system of Judaism according to the Old Testament. In one sentence, He dismissed the whole dispensation. And He introduced an altogether new order of things.
What did He mean? Because when He said the hour cometh, and now is, He did not mean literally just an hour and so many minutes. He meant that it was the first hour of the new day. With this hour an altogether new day has come. What is the new day? If you would have asked Jesus to put it into a short sentence, He would have said, “Well, I am here.” The hour is not just a matter of time but a matter of PERSON. The new dispensation is the dispensation of Jesus Christ. Christ is the new dispensation. “I am here,” He said. You go through that Gospel of John. He is centering everything in Himself. “I am the Way; I am the Truth; I am the Life; I am the Shepherd; I am the Vine; I am the Resurrection.” It is a Person. It is that which lies behind everything. Christianity is Christ. Christ is Christianity. That is where it all begins and it never departs from HIM. The development of the Christian life is only the development of Jesus Christ in the life.
By T. Austin-Sparks from: “That They May All Be One, Even As We Are One” – Meeting 7
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