Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Combating Bad Christian Zingers, Tweets, Unbiblical Thinking- Concerning The Christian Religion, Christian Heritage and The Jewish Jesus?


If someone were to ask me "what religion do you believe in?" Can i tell them i do not belong to a religion? I accept Jesus as my Lord and only Savior, and i want to be just like him. Jesus did not belong to any religion, he taught the word of God, so can i do the same? My Pastor said our church does not call ourself by a religion, but we follow what the bible says. So do i have to call myself a Christian, Catholic etc. to be saved?


Yes, Christianity is a religion by Scriptural definition. I know there is a zippy saying like "Christianity is a relationship not a religion." What is religion? The practice of our faith. The Bible does describe how we practice our faith in the New Testament. It says those who are born again whether Jewish or Gentile are Christians.

Here are two Bible verses that concern the practice of the religion of Christianity. The human author is James the half-brother of Jesus Christ, who was an Apostolic Father. James has Apostolic authority according to the Apostle Paul, who said in Galatians 1:19(ESV) while on his journeys "But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother."

Here is what the Apostle James, half-brother to Jesus Christ, says about the practice of Christianity.

James 1:26
English Standard Version (ESV)
" 26If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless."

James 1:27
English Standard Version (ESV)
"27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

The Apostle Paul wrote in our history book of the Bible, Acts, that the early church at Antioch described themselves as members of the Church, (also known as the Kingdom of God, the Body of Christ, and Jesus Christ's disciples) simply and in agreement as Christians.

Acts 11:26
English Standard Version (ESV)
"26 ... For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians."

Brother, if you are born again and therefore a Christian, you have an awesome heritage. You are in what is described in the Bible as a kingdom with a King. You are part of "The Body of Christ" that has Jesus Christ as our Head. The Bible also describes our religion as a "family". Jesus is our Groom. We are the Bride of Christ.

You have liberty and yet responsibility in your profession of Jesus Christ.
Less than twenty five years after the death, burial, resurrection and ascension
of our King Jesus Christ, our forefathers in the faith described us as Christians.
Why would you want to deny the awesome and historical heritage we have?

Computer folks use terminology like mega bytes, hard drive, download, viruses, flash-drive etc. Confusion is cut down because there is a common language in the computer world. Computer folks do not all invent a new language to apply to computers. What is wrong with using our Biblical sanctioned descriptions of our faith?

When you come to Christ you are not helping invent the faith you received. You become part of a great established religion. How confusing will it be, and is , when we Christians try to reinvent our terms and confession of our faith from person to person from church to church? 1st Corinthians 14:8 (ESV) says "And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?"

As far as the Bible goes, Jesus did practice a religion -Judaism to the max.

Did he keep the Jewish law? YES!!!
Matthew 5:17-19(ESV)

"17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus fulfilled the Law because we cannot. So he is the perfect unblemished Lamb of God to be sacrificed in what amounts to be as the ultimate Jewish sacrifice to atone or pay for our sins. Jesus received our wrath. We believers receive the righteousness of Christ before God so we can be saved and have eternal life with God.

John 1:29
English Standard Version (ESV)
"29The next day he (added-John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

Jesus worshiped and preached in the Jewish synagogues.

Luke 4:14-16
English Standard Version (ESV)
"14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read."

Jesus did not deny being the King of The Jews when Pilate was inspecting Him during trial. Because He was and Is.

John 18:33 ESV
"33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" 34Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"

John 19:19-20
English Standard Version (ESV)
"19Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." 20Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek."

Jesus was and is the King of The Jews. Most rejected Him. All of the Apostles and His early disciples were Jewish. Who do you think all the Old Testament prophecies were to and for? Some concerned us Gentiles. All concerned His Jewish brothers.

In the gospel of John, and in many accounts in the the other gospels, Jesus is going to the Jewish Festivals and Jewish religious feasts. This reinforces that Jesus the man was Jewish. Jesus the Christ is fully Man and God. He is just not the King of the Jews but the King of Kings of all creatures from creation to eternity.

Jesus is the last and now only High Priest of the Jews.
His sacrifice of self abolishes us having to be under the curse of the law as believers are now under grace.

Hebrews 9:11-12
English Standard Version (ESV)
"11But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent ( not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption."

Be clear Jesus is "King of the Jews" and "King of Kings" and over all of creation and all people.
He is "The King of The Jews" and the King of all His people, even the unsaved, whether they like it or not. God crowned Him!

How you describe your faith in Christ is important as the Bible contains how we do this. We live in a Twitter, Facebook, and instant messaging world. People want zingers to throw around, instead of deeper thinking, often at the expense of sacred things.

Those "Born Again" whether Gentile or Jewish are described in the Bible as Christians.
They are told how to practice their religion through the Bible.
Be a student of the Word. It is not easy. It contains all God has communicated to humanity concerning our salvation.

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