Read Romans 9:1-29
Big “C” Christianity
Christ is over all, the eternally blessed God.
Digging Deeper… On a fairly regular basis, surveys are released to the public revealing the current state of spirituality of American “christians.” No—“christian” is not a typo. I have used the lower case “c” deliberately.
A recent survey, conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, revealed that 57 percent of evangelical church attenders said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life. The article went on to suggest that this can either be taken as a positive sign of growing religious tolerance, or disturbing evidence that Americans dismiss or don’t know fundamental teachings of their own faiths.”
I would suggest the latter. In America, our national documents guarantee us the right of religious freedom, to believe what we want—but our national rights don’t guarantee that what we believe will be spiritually right.
People who claim Christianity as their faith have the right to believe that there are many ways to salvation and eternal life, but at least they ought to be intellectually honest enough to admit that their opinion is neither what the Bible teaches nor even what Jesus claimed about himself. It is not even close.
A lot of people may say they follow Jesus Christ, but they are not truly following the way Jesus called them to follow: “If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily.” (Matthew 16:24) Likewise, he said, “if you love me, you will do what I say.” (John 14:15) Furthermore, he made the astounding claim in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Sounds pretty intolerant, exclusive and narrow-minded, wouldn’t you say! Clearly, from Jesus’ own teaching and from the teaching of Scripture, only those who have fully surrendered their lives to his Lordship are truly Christians.
A great majority of those who say they follow Jesus are simply self-deceived or misled—or both. Their “christianity” is perhaps a cultural one and not a spiritual Christianity. Some believe themselves to be “christian” by virtue of being born in America, or having been raised by parents who took them to a Christian church twice a year—Christmas and Easter. But going to church or being born to a Christian family or growing up in a “christian” culture doesn’t make you a Christian any more than stepping onto a golf course makes you Tiger Woods.
A great majority of this 57% might even be sincere. But sincerity is not an indicator of truth. There are a lot a sincere people in the world, but they are sincerely wrong.
Being a Christian means to recognize that Jesus himself claimed to be God. Not just a god, or one of God’s offspring; not just a good moral teacher or an influential spiritual director. No, Jesus is, was, and forevermore shall be God. In fact, that’s what got him crucified—his claim to Godship. We are called to recognize, accept and surrender to him as God.
That’s what it means to be Christian big “C”!
Since he is God, therefore, he has every right to rule over our lives as Lord. We are to obey what he says, do what he commands, serve his purposes through our lives, extend his renown throughout the world, and love him with our whole hearts.
That’s what it means to be Christian—big “C”!
And he is to receive praise from our lips and from our lives. Everything we think, say and do is to bring glory and honor to him. Our whole existence, our everyday, walking around lives, are to be an offering of praise that brings eternal glory to Jesus Christ.
That’s what it means to be Christian—big “C”!
That’s the kind of Christian I want to be!
“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can
be too great for me to make for Him.”
This Week’s Assignment:
- Re-read Romans 9:1-33
- Memorize Romans 9:33, “As it is written: ‘See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
- For Your Consideration: Ponder the difference between “Big C” and “Small c” Christianity—and honestly evaluate your own faith? Obviously, God desires us to be fully on board with our Christian faith. In reality, maybe you are not 100% there. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being “fully devoted to God,” rate yourself in the following areas—and then ask yourself how you can take strategic growth steps toward full devotion:
- My Moral Life
- My Relationships
- My Finances
- My Service to God
- My Personal and Daily Relationship with Jesus Christ