My thoughts on Christianity versus other religions

First, it’s important to recognize that we are a 3 part being made in the image of God.

1. God is spirit/Holy Spirit – We have a spiritual body.

2. God the Father is a soul “the will of God.” – Our soul is made up of our mind, will, emotions.

3. Jesus/God came to earth in the flesh – We have a physical body.

God 3 in 1 – Jesus came in the flesh. 1 John 4:1 The Holy Spirit descended on Him.  Matt 3:16 And He came to do the will of the Father who sent Him. John 6:38.

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:17

Our spiritual condition

In Christianity, when you choose to ask Jesus Christ to enter into your heart, the two become one.  It is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ that He brings life to our spirit. In Him,  we are made complete. Like in a marriage, we now have what He has.  Note here too,  He has given us His Name – Jesus. John 14:13-14

“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” Romans 6:8

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor 5:17

Yet, our soul man (mind, will, and emotion) still must be renewed to come into alignment with the Word and the will of the Father.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Roman’s 12:2

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:18

3. Our physical body

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” 1 Cor 6:19

“Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.”1 Cor 15:43-44

So here we see that the soul and body are ultimately brought into completion with our Spirit in Christ.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philip. 1:6

“I am in them and you in me--so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:23

With all this in mind, how does Christianity differ from other religions?

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Faith in works or Faith in Jesus Christ.

We are all (our body, soul, and spirit)  born under the law of sin and death. separated from God.   “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” Eph 2:1

In other religions, the Gnostics for example, people seek to become “like God” or “God like” through things such as good works, prayers, rituals, invoking secret knowledge, or other forms of enlightenment. All which may have an effect on the soul man, but does not result in eternal life.

Only in Christianity do we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior. Thus Christians are referred to as the Bride of Christ (two becoming one) and the body of Christ.  The law was brought so we would acknowledge our need for a saviour, repent, and open our hearts allowing Jesus to live in, with, and through us.

But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 1 Cor 6:17

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor. 5:21

….But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor 6:11

Again, many religions deal with matters of the soul man (mind, will, emotions). But they can never create us to be “good enough” or to be “like God” to overcome the law of sin and death.  To be separated from God is to be separated from life itself, and there is only one way back to the Father and that is through His Son.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

“For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” f 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” g 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” h 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” Gal 3:12-14

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Eph 2:4-10

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How do we identify ourselves as Sinners or Saints?

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 8-10

We have all sinned and no one is saved except by God’s grace, but do we define ourselves by our old nature (sinners) or as new creations in Jesus Christ (saints)?

Keeping in mind,

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor. 5:2

Apostle Paul often addressed those who are in Christ Jesus as Saints, but

*I’ve noticed we often refer to ourselves as sinners.

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints,….

So what does “saint” mean,

The word translated the Greek “ἅγιος” (hagios), which derives from the verb ἁγιάζω (hagiazo), which means “to set apart”, “to sanctify”, or “to make holy”. Wiki.

In Christ, our sins have been washed by the blood….

.…. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. 6:11

Sin is now outside of who we are in Christ.
Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”

So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Philippines 3:9
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10

And to stand, it is by His rightouseness. It is part of our armor.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

The accuser likes to remind us of our sins, trying to keep us living under the Law of sin and death.

But Faith in action says…

Our sins have been washed by the blood. We are no longer under the law of sin and death, but under the law of Grace. We have become new creations in Christ and our righteousness is of Him!
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. Isaiah 54:7

Our identy is in Him!

When is God going to use me???

Some where in my Christian walk I became convinced that for God to use me I had to first become someone great.  You know like write an amazing Christian book or start a healing ministery.. But when I do look back on my life and see the times the Lord has used me I inevitably think,

Well that wasn’t me, it was you Lord.

It’s not false humility or anything just the facts…And I really think that’s how it’s supposed to work – Him working through us.  To God be the Glory!

 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”  Romans 12:1

Then I also remember the verses below in Matthew 25… I believe they are the results of changed heart, a heart that loves.

When His love becomes so natural to us, we don’t even realize He has been loving others through us.  ( I rhymed) hehehehehe. Anyway…

If we see that someone is thirsty we natural would offer them a drink. Right?

But maybe in this we find a clue…

“If we see”…Some saw the hungry, sick, lonely, ect ….while others did not.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

It seems too, that worrying less about myself  and “my doing” is really freeing me up to “see others” more.

And I LIKE THAT.

 

The Pride the bible warns us about?

I believe pride is the product of thinking like the world. The church speaks a lot about pride.  Enough so it has kept my head spinning for years.  But I think we have made it too complicated.  This morning I woke up and came to this simple conclusion.

Pride is simply believing you’re  better  than someone else. As soon as you find yourself looking down on another person for whatever reason that is pride. You’ll know because gossip, belittling, and accusing words soon follow.

When we really love, like the biblical love, we see others as our brothers and sisters. Equal and of great value. Every person having God given gifts, talents, and purpose.

If we believe that some people are important, than we must also believe others are unimportant.

A couple of my favorite verses on pride.

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not. 1 Cor. 4:7

The Pharisees’ Pride kept them from acknowledging and accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  They had the,  “I know better than God,”  kind of Pride.

I enjoy this story of the Pharisees and the blind man.  Jesus had opened the eyes of the blind man. Now they were questioning him.  As he was sharing his testimony, about Jesus, the Pharisee immediately started gossiping, belittling, and accusing him.  Followed by, “who are you to tell us.” And then they threw him out.

I’ve lived this myself, got the T-shirt in fact, and I am sure I am not the only one by simply sharing my testimony as we are instructed to do.

30The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.31We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

34To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. John 9:30-34

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I have found that remembering my own sins is a great humbler. Praise God they have been washed away, but it helps me to remember we are all in the same boat.

 

No matter how much I change, you remain the same.

I can spend a lifetime healing, growing, and improving,

And I did and I have because you convinced me it was me.

but you remain the same. Then I realized I am not the one that is broken.

For by his stripes I have been healed.

I am just not of you.

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:19

The Temple has Walls

Walls are not always a bad thing.

Notice walls were built around the temple and a vineyard for protection.

We are the temple of God, the Church, and boundaries are still essential.

My walls, my boundaries, were torn down at a young age because I grew up with abuse. Abusive people have no respect for boundaries. All which set me up for more abuse as I grew older. So my walls needed to be rebuilt.

But,

When I attended church, I was taught to love others unconditionally, but still not taught to love and protect myself.

I was taught forgive and keep forgiving. But still not taught to walk away from people who kept sinning against me.

I was taught to think the best about others, but still not taught to be on guard for wolves in sheep’s clothing.

And if I ever questioned someone’s character, I was told I was mistaken or I was being judgemental.

The result – more abuse –

But God…

I finally woke up to the knowledge that something wasn’t right.

I had to stop mistaking man’s word for God’s Word about who God is and who I am in Him.

I had to start following the inward leading, and stop allowing myself to be led astray by people, manipulation, guilt, fear, and doubt.

I had to start trusting God and myself more and other people less.

And I have had to work with the Lord to rebuild and restored the walls the enemy sought to destroy.

We are the temple and the temple has walls. And God has put them in place for our protection to separate us from our enemies, and those who cross our boundaries.


The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 10:18