Christianity or belief and trust in Jesus Christ is a joyful life that has saved many lost souls. However, distorted Christianity has caused confusion, heartaches, and wars. In the 2000 years since Jesus came there has been a lot of room for people to distort the Truth.
Lets look at what I feel are two of these distortions.
Christianity -- Distortion #1 - Rules and Regulations
In this view, Christians must live by a long list of dos and doníts. There is a system of checks and balances that prove whether a person is worthy of Godís love. They have to earn His love and their way into Heaven. No grace, just a balance sheet.
Danger: In making Godís love something to earn rather than being freely given, it assumes that we are able to be good enough to warrant eternal life. This makes us believe that we donít need to rely on Jesusí sacrifice since we are good enough on our own.
Or; it can cause sadness and depression while trying and not being able to live up to a set of rules as opposed to living a joyful life accepting the power that Jesus gives.
|Ephesians 2:8,9||says that we are saved by grace, through faith. It is not from our own resources. It is a free gift of God, so that no one can boast.|
|Acts 2:21||tells us that whoever calls on the name of the Lord|
will be saved.
|In 2 Corinthians 12:9,|| God says that His grace is all we need.|
His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Distortion #2 - Anything Goes
In this misconception, Christians live above the law and donít need to heed any guidelines. Our personal sense of His guidance is more important than Godís Word in the Bible. What seems right and logical to us is more important than what God has said.
Danger: Jesusí sacrifice paid the penalty for sin, but that does not give us the freedom to go on doing what we know is wrong. The ego is a very strong force and will always make excuses for self-serving behavior.
Even in following Jesus Christ, people are human and will consistently fall short of the glory of God when trying to live only by what they Ďfeelí.
|Matthew 24: 35|
and Luke 21:33
|say that even though Heaven and earth will pass away, His words will not.|
|1 Peter 1:25||says that Godís word will endure forever.|
|Matthew 5:6||says that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed because they will be filled.|
|2 Timothy 3:16||says that all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching correcting and training.|
True Christianity is:
Christians believe inwardly and confess outwardly that Jesusí death on the cross, paid the price for sin and allowed God the Father to offer them forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift.
Christians accept that gift through faith and seek to live a life of obedient gratitude for what God has given them.
God provides the power that makes obedience possible. Guidance comes through His Holy Spirit and through Godís word, the Bible.
Increasingly obedient living is the change that comes from this power. We are challenged every day to rely on Godís power for right living. We are also told to do all things in the name of Jesus Christ, not using it as a free pass, but doing what brings Him honor.Because of Christís resurrection we believe in and are assured of eternal life. Jesus demonstrated His power over death when He died on the cross and rose from the grave three days later. We, who put our faith in Him, believe that after our death in this life, we too will rise to eternal life.
The proof of a successful Christian life shows itself in the increasing character traits of;
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, referred to as the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22