What Is Christianity?
Everyone who asks the question “what is christianity?” often wonders what the truth is behind something that has been turned difficult to understand by man. Christianity is pretty simple. It’s all about one life, the life of Jesus the Son of God. The Bible teaches that Jesus was God Himself, come to live in His world as a human. Perhaps you’ve never thought about it very much, but the life of Jesus has tremendous impact upon you.
The Bible teaches that because we are sinners by nature and by choice, we have a broken relationship with our Creator. We live out our days seeking fulfillment and meaning in the things that surround us, but the deepest need of the human soul is to be restored to the One who made us. Jesus came to accomplish that restoration.
The central message of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is God the Son who came to earth to rescue sinners not only from a life of sin but also from eternal damnation in hell. Christians believe that the 66 books of the Bible comprise the literal Word of God. As such, they read it, come to know God more deeply by it, stand for and live by its truth.
Who Can Be a Christian?
At the heart of what it means to be a Christian is justification—that is, being right with God (see Romans 4:20). So, another way of asking “who can be a Christian” is “who can be considered right with God?” John 1:12 says that “…as many as received Him [Jesus], to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” In other words, not everyone is automatically a child of God simply because he or she is born into the world.
This forgiveness also means acceptance into a new family relationship with God and His people. People who follow Christ gradually take on the character of Jesus. A true child of God will be known by good works, pure thoughts, and godly attitudes. These things are not the grounds for justification. Rather, they serve as evidence of being “born again” by the Spirit of God who lives in all believers (John 3:1; Ephesians 1:1) from the very moment of salvation on.
Trusting who Christ is and what He did through the cross and resurrection is what we’re called to do. Rejecting that shows disregard for the truth and disrespect to the most loving being in the universe. One of the most common ways people reject Christ is by thinking, “I’m good enough to get into heaven.” But the Bible says no one is good enough to enter heaven (Romans 3:10).
Furthermore, this trusting in Christ is always accompanied by repentance, according to the Bible. Repentance means turning away from sin and submitting to Jesus Christ as the ruler (Lord) of one’s life.
What makes Christianity different?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
It is a faith relationship with God that solves the problem of sin. In other words, deliverance from sin is not achieved by one’s personal adherence to a system of works. One is delivered from sin by receiving God’s grace in Christ. A sinner is declared to be right with God as the merits of Christ’s life, death, resurrection and ascension are applied to him through faith. 2 Corinthians 2:21says it this way: “He [God the Father] made Him who knew no sin (i.e. Jesus, God the Son) to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
The Bible clearly says that “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy.” (Titus 3:5)
“…Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” (Romans 8:34)
Jesus died on the cross for sinners, but was resurrected after three days. His resurrection vindicated the truthfulness of His message. He was witnessed by many who were eventually martyred for their faith. The historic truth of Christ’s life and message has stood the test of time and will ultimately triumph over all other beliefs (Revelation 21:1).