Tag Archives: Christianity

Colossians 1:9-13

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

Paul presents this beautiful prayer asking that his brothers in Christ to come to maturity in the faith:

The Petition . . .

do not cease to pray – we are to pray continually for each other. It is through persistence (a great virtue) in prayer that our petitions are effective with God. We are to pray fervently! Notice that Paul is praying for those who are succeeding and growing in Christ. We should pray for those doing well that they continue strong and successful in the faith.

ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding – The knowledge comes from the word of God and wisdom is the skill to live life according to God’s plan. If we ask God, he will give us wisdom (James 1:5), and obedience to this wisdom produces a life that is beautiful, abundant and glorifies Him. This is enlightenment from the Holy Spirit that directs us in how to live.

walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing – to follow His will that we now know because we are wise!  It is daily loving obedience that pleases God. This is to strive to live as Jesus did, which can only be approached with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God – walking in a manner worthy of the Lord is to manifest the character and conduct of the fruit of Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22 presents that fruit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This should be evident in our good works, and humble service to our neighbors. Increasing in the knowledge of God, and the continual growth in the understanding of what he wants, allows us to grow in our maturity and effectiveness as Christians.

strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness – God’s power, his might, is unimaginable. Our Lord, the creator of all things, will make us steadfast (resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering, on solid footing) and give us the patience to endure and be effective in the Christian life. Knowledge of the promises of God gives us the strength, patience, and resolution to succeed in the trials of life.

The Praise . . .

giving thanks to the Father – We praise and thank God for all that he has done and the promise of what is to come! All good things come from him, including our justification and salvation (the work of Christ) and he deserves our continual loving gratitude.

which hath made us meet (qualified) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light – we are adopted sons, now qualified to be heirs to the Kingdom of God and the unfathomable joy and riches that this means, which we share with our Christian brothers in Christ. Our qualification is by the work of Christ, by the grace of God, and for this, we are eternally grateful!

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated (transferred) us into the kingdom of his dear son – God took us from Satan to himself. The moment we put our faith in Christ we are rescued from the jurisdiction and authority of Satan. We now dwell in the kingdom of Christ as beloved children of God.

in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins – salvation available by the blood of Christ on the cross! We who believe and make Christ our Lord are redeemed from the darkness and now live in the light as our sins are forgiven.


Deuteronomy 6:13-15

13Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.14Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15 (For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

A dramatic warning from the Old Testament! Fear God and do not pursue the gods (idols) of the world. If you do, he will wipe you off the face of the earth!

John 3:16-17 & 36

The best-known verse in the Bible . . .

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

loved the world . . . this was a shocking statement to the Jews. “God so loved the Jews” is what they would expect to hear, but that is not what he said. God loves the world . . . all of us.

he gave his only begotten Son . . . God gave what was most dear to him, his beloved Son, as the ultimate atonement for sin, as a gift and not something deserved. His love for the sinning world was not sentimentality but a love that had tremendous cost.

whosoever believeth in him . . . not the whole world benefits from the gift. It is those who believe, trust and obey; who put their complete faith in; who give their lives to; who rely entirely upon his Son Jesus that will reap the benefit of the grace (unmerited favor) given by God to the unrighteous world.

should not perish, but have everlasting life . . . this speaks to the quality of our eternal existence. To “perish” does not mean annihilation, but ruin, failure to realize God’s purpose, and exclusion from his fellowship. To perish is to endure the wrath of God, which is an eternity in the fire of hell. “Everlasting life” is to avoid God’s wrath because Jesus paid for your sin by his sacrifice on the cross. Through faith in Jesus, you traded hell for heaven and will experience an eternity of joy being in right standing with God.

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

Jesus did not come to judge, instead, he provided the opportunity for us to accept the gift of salvation. The judgment of the world comes later.

The positive perspective in these verses of salvation by faith in Christ should be joined with the consequence of unbelief that is presented in John 3:36!

36 . . . and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Paradoxical Undercurrents of Christianity

Since the apple incident, humanity has believed the lie that it is preferable to live for their desires instead of for God. The instinct has been self-enrichment, self-preservation, self-satisfaction, and self-glorification. But life in Christ is dramatically contrary to those attitudes and objectives. By divine assistance, the Christian understands and submits to these undercurrents of the faith, manifesting a transformed life.

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All Men Are Created Equal

Not true. God made us individually, and not one person is the same as another. Besides common foundational biological attributes, every person is dramatically unique, superior in some ways and inferior in others.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14

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Do We Choose God or Does He Choose Us?

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Romans 8:28-30

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Why Christianity?

Why is Christianity the correct pursuit of God?

Consider that Christianity sprang from the most obscure beginning and blossomed into the predominant religion on Earth over the last two thousand years. Billions of souls believe that Jesus Christ is God. How could it be that the words of a man born in a primitive town 2,000 years ago, who delivered his message for only 36 months and gathered a handful of followers before his brutal murder at the age of 32, were not lost to the ages? How can it be that the message of this guy has persisted?

Two thousand years later, Jesus is everywhere in our society – either worshiped, ignored, mocked, or despised. It seems absurd that a young Jewish carpenter’s words and actions from so long ago would be the most impactful and influential on humanity ever in history. Unless, of course, Jesus Christ is who he claimed to be – God incarnate.

So, what sets Christianity apart from any other set of beliefs or concepts of God? Here are three primary reasons why Christianity, which is faith in Jesus Christ, is superior to everything else:

  • The principal figure in Christianity claims to be God himself. Jesus Christ is not a prophet or a great moral teacher speaking about a distant deity. Instead, he is the true living God who we may come to know personally. In Christianity, we have God telling us about himself, ourselves, how to live, and how to perish.
  • Only in Christianity is our acceptance by God a gift to us from him. Our only responsibility, and the only thing we are capable of in reconciliation with God, is to believe and accept his gift. Every other religion, and even some Christian denominations who have distorted his message, base salvation on things you must do, rituals you must perform, or even money you must pay to earn God’s favor hopefully.
  • Christianity is rooted in a book that claims to be God’s inspired, inerrant, and authoritative word, not just words about God. That book is the Holy Bible. The belief that the Bible is God’s word is the essence of faith, and for those who have put their faith in Jesus, the Bible is an amazing, dynamic connection with God. It contains everything we need to know about him and his direction for us. Through it, he will transform your life. When you get into it, you will find it inexhaustible in its capacity to reveal meaning. The answers to all the questions that matter are in the Bible – if you desire to find them. To those who don’t believe, the Bible is foolish nonsense, an archaic work of implausible, boring fiction embraced by the gullible.

So, what is the message of Christianity? What is in the Bible that makes it so compelling? What did Jesus do that dramatically changed the hope of mankind over the past 20 centuries? 

The answer is salvation.

The Good News of Salvation

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 

The good news of Jesus Christ is that he has provided us the means to be reconciled with God and the opportunity to come to know him as our loving father. Because of his sacrifice on the cross, we can enjoy peace with God and reap the benefits of being one of his beloved children. Benefits that we enjoy both in this life and the life to come.

Fallen Man

“for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Born spiritually separated from God, we spend our lives pursuing our desires. Things that come to us naturally attest to our adversarial standing with him. Our natural inclination is to sin, transgress against God’s law, and rebel against him. We see this clearly and dramatically in the immorality and depravity in the world. We also see it in our daily lives as we live for our own pleasure and comfort. We prioritize our interests, desires, and love of things in this world ahead of God. Jesus tells us that the most important commandment is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Read Matthew 22:37-38 Who of us does that or is even capable of doing that?

God’s Judgement

“For the wages of sin is death; . . . “ The first half of Romans 6:23

God’s holy nature demands justice; he cannot condone sin. He is the essence of righteousness, the foundation and source of right and good. He is the stark contrast to what is wrong and evil in the world. Being a just God, he cannot allow sin to go unpunished or forgive without proper atonement. If God were to let any transgression stand, he would be no better than us. The bad news is that the penalty for sin is death, and we all deserve the wrath of God that is coming when we stand before him and face his judgment.

Man’s Attempt to Reconcile

Some don’t see the need to reconcile anything at all with God. They go through their lives without giving this any serious consideration. Many others, who have a notion of God, feel they are in good standing with him if they try to live a good life and be a good person. The presumption is that if you generally treat others well, think good thoughts, and rely on the good things you have done in life, that should be sufficient. Surely a person who has tried to live a good life does not deserve an eternity in the hell of the Bible, right?

The religious man’s instinct has been to do something to make things right with God. In man’s consistent overestimation of the good in himself, he tries to win God’s favor by doing what he believes, or has been told, pleases him. He tries to appease through self-righteous attempts to follow the rules and rituals of religion, living a pious life, or doing good works. But to God, it is futile nonsense.

The truth is, there is nothing anyone can do to earn God’s forgiveness. We are incapable of measuring up to his standard of righteousness. No matter how good you try to be, how good you think you are, you are not good enough. In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah tells us that our very best is no better than filthy rags to God. Read Isaiah 64:6

God’s Incomparable Gift

“ . . . but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The second half of Romans 6:23

If we are incapable of attaining a righteous standing with God, is our fate then sealed to experience God’s judgment and wrath and suffer eternity in hell?   Thankfully No!    God so loves the people in the world that he provided the means to become righteous in his eyes, be forgiven of our sins, and be reconciled to him. He accomplished this for us by sending his Son, the person Jesus Christ, to live a perfectly obedient, sinless life and then be nailed to the cross to die for our sins. Jesus bore our sin and paid our debt, redeeming (purchasing) us from the penalty and power of sin with his blood on the cross.

“But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him.” Romans 5:8-9

Faith in Jesus saves us from God’s wrath and provides us the means to become what we were meant to be, his beloved sons and daughters. The depth of God’s love for us, paying such a costly price for those who are by nature his adversaries, is hard to grasp. But the clearer you understand the essence of your sin, the more you realize how profound and precious this gift is. This understanding, magnified as you come to know the Lord and understand what he did for you, produces deep, humble thankfulness for an underserved pardon. By his grace, unmerited and undeserved favor, God offers this gift to deliver us all from the condemnation we deserve and instead provide redemption, the forgiveness of sins, and an eternity in heaven with him.


“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9

God’s gift of salvation is available to all who choose to receive it. To accept this gift is easy, but the decision must be rooted in what you believe in your heart. This is to understand you live in sin and ask God to forgive you. Believe that Jesus Christ is his Son, who died on the cross for your sin and was raised from the dead three days later. Change the direction of your life (this is to repent) and trust, follow and obey Jesus Christ for the rest of your days on Earth. Accept his gift of salvation to save your soul and live forever with all the benefits of a beloved child of the God of all creation. Ask him to fill your heart with his presence and guide you, direct you, and sanctify you. Do this in prayer, from conviction in your heart, and you will be saved.

Know that this is not a magic chant or an act of religious emotion; instead, it is an act of faith, believing God’s word. The result of that faith is justification, being made righteous in God’s sight. This is the beginning of a new life for you. God gives you a clean slate, everything is forgiven, and you are now reconciled to God forever. Now seek him in his word, in congregations of true believers, in prayer, and you will find him. Read Matthew 7:7-8

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:1-2


When you become a Christian, you become a new kind of person.

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

As a child, I had been well-schooled in the message of salvation, and in my teens, I declared my faith in Jesus Christ and was “saved.” My father and I were baptized together in a small Texas Southern Baptist church at the same evening service. I think that was around 1974. The foundation of education in God’s word so long ago was instrumental in my preparation, but it wasn’t until 40 years later, in my mid-50s, that I was compelled, or led, or driven, or whatever you might call it, to turn to God. It was then that I was changed, in some ways dramatically so, and finally became a new kind of person.

It was an intersection of challenging circumstances that brought me to this point. My father, with whom I was very close, was terminally ill, and we knew the day of his death was near. The anxious thought of losing him, a figure of stability and security, along with other life pressures, greatly intensified my primary source of anxiety and stress – an exceptionally demanding job. I felt that my knowledge, experience, and confidence were at best the minimum needed to succeed. I worried that I lacked the competency required to handle the role, and the workload was daunting. The stress of performance was crushing to me, and a debilitating fear bloomed inside. A constant undercurrent of failure anxiety impacted every area of my life, not the least of which was my relationship at home. At its worst, I was not able to perform at work. In meetings, fear would grip me, and I would freeze up in a panic. With a pounding heart, sweating palms, and an inability to breathe, think, or speak, I had to endure the embarrassment of excusing myself from meetings. Worry that this might cost me the job magnified stress and anxiety – feeding a terrible cycle of fear. It became clear that I could not effectively manage or cope with it independently; self-reliance no longer carried me through the tough days.

The great benefit of weakness is that God will use it to draw you near, and I am very thankful that he does! Knowing that I had reached the end of self-reliance, I turned to him. To the best of my ability, I gave God the whole thing; that is, I gave him my life along with all the issues and challenges. I trusted him to take care of my job, father, wife, kids, attitude, happiness, and future, and he did not disappoint. I experienced his loving kindness as he comforted us through my father’s passing. I was there when Dad took his last breath, and though the separation was difficult, we were at peace through it all. I felt his support as he established me at work, well beyond what I thought possible. Through him, I attained competence, value, and security. Not so much security in the job, but security and comfort in knowing that his plan for me is the best I could hope for. I felt his loving kindness as he blessed my marriage and relationship. We have never been closer or more complete together.

Most importantly, I have peace knowing that all things now work for my good, and after I am done here, I will spend eternity in heaven. I now strive to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and have true peace with God. I now experience and understand the often-repeated paradox in the Bible: “whoever wishes to keep his life will lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake will keep it.” Read Luke 9:24 I am thankful that God gave me the time to get to this point. My 40 years of wandering in the wilderness had come to an end.

As I mature in the faith, I see self-serving attitudes continue to pass away, replaced by a desire to please God. The transformation is not instantaneous but happens over your life as you pursue God, and he works to sanctify you. Sanctification makes you more like Christ in motives, thought, and behavior. For some, this is a refinement, and for others, this transformation is an astounding miracle, as I feel it was with me. As you soak yourself in God’s word and take in the truth from correct teachers and other believers, he opens your eyes to what is right and proper and convicts you about what is wrong and unacceptable. If you pursue Jesus Christ, you will be changed, and without a doubt, you will look back in disbelief at what you had sought in the world, how you lived your life, how you treated others, and what you thought was OK.