THE NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY
1. Christian found 3 times in the Bible:
a. Acts 11:26 - Disciples (Christians) -- Compose the church.
b. Acts 26:28 - Made with persuasion of gospel.
c. 1 Pet. 4:16 - Glorify God through one's way of life.
2. "An adherent of Jesus," (Vine); Of, or belonging to Christ.
3. What is it to be a Christian? Some see as...
a. Wearing a name? - Titus 1:16
b. Joining a club? - 1 Cor. 1:12-13
c. Self-dictated conduct? - Col. 2:20-23
d. System of archaic "rules" - 1 Jno. 5:3
4. Unless we appreciate what Christianity is we will not be able to be faithful, effective, genuine Christians!
a. Lack of conviction; 2nd / 3rd generation....
b. Will fail to influence the world - Matt. 5:14f.
c. Will be devoured by Satan - 1 Cor. 10:12.
I. CHRISTIANITY IS:
A. Adherence To Jesus In All Things - Lk. 6:46; Jno. 8:31-32; Col. 3:17. (Relationship with Him!)
1. Submission to Him because of who He is, what He has done, where He is now!
2. Matt. 11:29 - Must take His yoke on us! (At home, school, work, church, etc.)
B. Expression Of One's Love For & Fear Of God - Jno. 14:15, 21, 23; Lk. 12:4-5.
1. 1 Jno. 5:3-4 - Combine love for God (obeying) with reverence for God -- This makes obedience desirable.
2. Titus 2:11-12 - Helps deter sin & motivate righteousness.
3. Application: Christianity is & must be the expression of the heart's relationship with God, by obeying Christ in all areas of life!
II. CHRISTIANITY IS NOT:
A. Man's Religion.
1. Jer. 10:23 - Not devised or empowered by man.
2. Mk. 7:6-9 - Traditions of men fail to impress &/or appease God - Col. 2:8 (Man v. Christ).
3. Application: Adhere to the revealed religion of Christ - 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
B. Part-Time Religion - Mk. 4:16-19.
1. Matt. 16:24 - Self-denial to follow Jesus.
2. Matt. 6:33 - Establish principles & priorities to live by.
3. Matt. 10:22 - Persevering lifestyle.
4. Application: Give your all to the Master!
a. Heart, possessions, time, energy, motives, etc. - Rom. 12:1-2.
b. Teach ourselves & our children this truth!
C. To Be Hypocritical - 1 Tim. 1:15; Rom. 7:21-25.
1. Not a sham or a false show about sin. Face sin head on & obtain its remedy in Christ! - Rom. 7:24-25
2. Application: To be a Christian we must see sin for its sinfulness & that we were once its slaves but that now we have been released from it! - Jno. 8:34, 36; Acts 2:37; Rom. 6:1-2, 16-18.
III. CHRISTIANITY PRODUCES:
A. A New Heart Which Exercises Self-control - Eph. 4:17-24.
1. v. 22 - Control to put away sin.
2. v. 23-24 - Control to live in righteous-ness & holiness of truth!
3. 1 Cor. 9:23-27 - Control to stay under the discipline of the gospel to receive the crown (and not be rejected).
B. A Body Of Spiritual Principles, Values, Goals.
1. Jno. 17:17 - Anchored in truth.
2. 2 Cor. 4:16-18 - Christian looks for unseen things.
3. Matt. 6:19-21 - Heavenly treasure.
4. Matt. 6:33 - Kingdom of God & His righteousness.
C. Therefore, A Life Of Faith, Hope & Love - Rom. 5:1-2; 8:31-39.
1. Phil. 3:20-21 - We wait for the Savior.
2. Col. 3:4 - We shall be with Him in glory.
1. Christianity must be our life's conviction, not our pastime nor our "prison!"
2. Adhere to Christ's words & life - 1 Jno. 2:3-6.