Summary: This is an attempt to clear up the blurred condition in the minds of people concerning the basics of Christianity.
Scripture: Acts 11:26
Title: “A Definition of Christianity”
Introduction: What a sweet, suggestive title “Christian.” They were called after the name of Christ because they had believed on Him, and turned to Him, and were now, with full purpose of heart, living for Him.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful nowadays if all who call themselves “Christians” would display the identifying characteristics of Christianity.
I fear that the “Definition of Christianity” has been blurred. I appreciate the efforts of the leaders of our country to unite during these difficult times, but not to the POINT of further distorting the ability to understand what “Christianity” really is.
A very simple definition of Christianity is: To be “Christ-like!”
I. HOW BEING A CHRISTIAN BEGINS.
a. The ONLY way to get into the HUMAN FAMILY is to be BORN into it.
b. Everybody has a BIRTHDAY every year because BIRTH is the method God has ordained for transmitting human life from one generation to the next.
c. What’s true in the PHYSICAL is also true of the SPIRITUAL: the ONLY way to possess God’s life and enter God’s family is through BIRTH. * Jesus said, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7)
d. Like PHYSICAL birth, SPIRITUAL birth involves two parents, and these two parents are the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
e. When you believe the gospel, repent of your sins, and trust Jesus Christ, you are immediately born into God’s family and receive everlasting life: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life” (John 3:36).
f. Being a Christian means possessing the life of Christ within, being able to boldly say, “Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).
II. A CHANGING OF OUR NATURE.
a. Birth involves two parents who IMPART life to us, and this life-giving birth determines our NATURE.
b. Those who have been born again are “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4).
c. Jesus lived His complete life being directed by God’s “Divine Nature.”
d. Your NATURE will DETERMINE: Appetite – Associations (who you hang around with) – Abilities.
An airplane pilot during World War 1 took off from a field in Kobar, Arabia. While the plane was on the ground a rat somehow got into the aircraft. After the pilot was in the air he heard the rat gnawing on something behind him. Alarmed by the thought of disaster, he remembered that rats cannot live in high altitudes. So he pointed his plane upward until breathing was difficult. After some time, when the gnawing had ceased, he descended to a landing where he found the rat had died. Many, if not most, of our struggles can be ELIMINATED by rising to a higher altitude in our Christian walk.
III. HOW TO KNOW YOU ARE SAVED.
a. One of the GREATEST evidences of salvation is: “Love.” – “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” (1 John 3:14)
b. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)
c. “ . . . we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” (1 John 3:24)
During the first part of the construction of the “Golden Gate Bridge” in San Francisco, no safety devices were used, and twenty-three men fell to their deaths. For the last part of the project, however, a large net that cost $100,000 was placed under the men. At least ten men fell into it and were saved. But an interesting sidelight is the fact that 25% MORE work was accomplished when the men were assured of their safety. Curtis Hutson
d. “For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.” (Rom. 8:16)
e. When we do what the Bible teaches us to do concerning salvation then we KNOW we are saved.
A little boy was being tempted by the devil when the boy was in bed. He was getting nowhere with the temptations that the devil was throwing at him. Then he finally opened his Bible to 1 John 5:13, put it under his bed, and said to the devil, “Here, you read it for yourself.” “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
IV. LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.