So, last time we discussed the question, “What is Christianity?” The last two articles I’ve written present a biblical
perspective for answering this question. There are many things that Christianity is- there are certain ‘marks’ or
‘characteristics’ that indicate the presence of authentic Christianity in a person or group of persons, the church. Most of
these are readily obvious, but in today’s world, Christianity means a thousand different things to a thousand different
people. So for clarity’s sake, here (again) are the marks of authentic, biblical Christianity I’ve given previously.
Real Christianity is:
1)...not by works but by faith.
2)...not by a thin intellectual knowledge of Jesus Christ but by daily trust in Him as Savior.
3)...not by religion, but by a relationship with God.
4)...not ‘fire insurance’ but real repentance.
5)...not ceremonial but spiritual.
6)...not coerced but motivated by desire and delight.
7)...not self-centered but others oriented.
8)...not judgmentalism that looks down on sinners, but shows others mercy.
9)...not satisfied with the pleasures and treasures of this world, but the infinitely greater pleasures and treasures of God and His eternal kingdom.
10)...not legalism but all grace.
So that’s what real Christianity is. On the other hand, sometimes it’s helpful to tell what something is by what it is not (notice how I began each of the above ‘marks’ with ‘is not...but...’?). To be sure, there are many other things that Christianity is not- and probably, there’s too many to list here. So, here’s a short list of what real Christianity most certainly isn’t:
Authentic Christianity is not a cult or place that considers outsiders second-class, nor is it a kind of get-rich-quick scheme or system for advancing wealth or social standing. It’s not a past, personal event or even a point-in-time decision written on a Bible cover or engraved on a trophy or plaque.
Biblical Christianity isn’t a particular version of the Bible, nor is it a particular flavor of music- whether traditional or contemporary, hymns or choruses. It’s not a one-hour pastime to be endured on Sunday mornings only, nor a fraternity for advancing humanitarian causes.
Real Christianity isn’t a club or social organization, and it’s certainly not a denomination or ecclesiastical organization or affiliation or coalition. It’s not a place to ‘pay your dues to God’ on Sundays or even a place to put your extra cash so you can get a year-end tax break from Uncle Sam.
Genuine Christianity isn’t a gift or service memorial dedicated to saints of old, nor is it a place to donate your unwanted furniture or sentimental nick-nacks.
True Christianity isn’t a worship-by-yourself-at-home system you can do alone with your favorite radio / TV preacher, nor it is a certain style of building or place or structure.
Real, authentic Christianity is described reliably and most accurately in God’s Word, the Bible, and recorded in the ancient pages of church history. The reason this conversation must exist is because there is confusion over what Christianity is.
But the truth is, there’s very little confusion among true Christians- the confusion has come from the outside, not the inside. And while no one has it down just right, self included, I’m thankful Jesus got it right where I didn’t, and that because of Him and His atoning sacrifice and perfect life, I can now, by a life of repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ, have the anti-Christian odor I was born with fully removed, and the Christ-like aroma of forgiveness and acceptance permeating my entire being both now and forever.
Praise Jesus Christ the Lord God Almighty!
written by Zach Zajicek
pastor of First Baptist Church

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