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Friday, March 29, 2013

Six More Words Of Christianity

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Six More Words Of Christianity

Here are six more words introducing Christianity in addition to the first six in an earlier article. Does adding more words, make the subject overly complicated? I hope not; what I'm really doing is showing the fuller picture of the great truths of Christianity. There are some for beginners, and there are depths we will never fully fathom, but now at least we can make a start. Why ity-ending words? They're the same as Christianity, and beyond that, they help to hang thoughts. See what you think yourself.
1. ETERNITY 

The answers given by Christianity are ones that deal with the biggest questions of all - why am I here? What is God like? Why is there so much suffering, what's gone wrong and why doesn't God do more about it? Yes, we ask these and other big questions, because we have a sense of the wonder and mysterious significance of it all. At times we ponder the difference between time and eternity. Maybe that's not so surprising, when God's word says that 'he has put eternity into man's heart' (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and when God says that he is 'the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy' (Isaiah 57:15). So eternity, this idea of the immeasurable, the timeless, the unbounded, gives us a good canvas upon which to consider the context of Christianity.

2. IDENTITY 

Our personal identity is elusive - who really are we - who knows? And then as someone correctly observed, we get so much of our identity from our close relationship to others. But deeper than that, from Genesis we learn that 'God created man in his own image... male and female he created them' (Gen. 1:27). Our personal identity comes from our unique creation by God, where on a finite level we are persons, made for knowing, understanding, obeying and loving God and other persons too, like ourselves - what a high honour, but to what depths we have fallen, becoming 'alienated from the life of God' (Ephesians 4:18). Then follows words like 'ignorance', 'hardness of heart', callous' and 'greedy to practice every kind of impurity' (Eph. 4:18-19). Oh, how our truly human identity has been defaced and made ugly by sin, but we are still people, accountable to God!

3. GRAVITY 

As much as we may delight in the simple pleasures of life; a walk on a white sandy beach, bluebell woods in Spring, a rippling sunset with coloured sails on the sea, or a meal on a special occasion with a loved one and so much more - in addition to such things, we find, as we have just mentioned, there is an inescapable gravity to life. It is not all a picnic or a flower garden, there is serious grief, bad choices, guilt and sometimes painful, gnawing guilt, that weighs us down. Many people are trying to drown this to escape it, but that really never works. The thought that we must face God in eternity in our personal identity adds a dimension of dilemma to the gravity as to how we will get by, for which we need help beyond ourselves.

4. CENTRICITY 

Here is a word that helps to draw our attention to the source of that much-needed help - to what is of central importance. This is where we focus on Jesus Christ and his life, death and resurrection. He is central to Christianity. The New Testament confirms this when Paul says how he brought to the Christians at Corinth, 'as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures' (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus' death and resurrection is God's one and only answer to the gravity of our personal sin, for which we must repent, turn away and turn to Christ as the approachable, ever-living mediator between God and man, and accept by faith that he carried the full judgement our sins deserved. Have you done that? No other way to God, no wonder the cross of Christ is central!

5. SANITY 

We usually reckon that the people who have got it all together, who can ride the storms of life without collapsing into deep depression, and who have fair insight into their own weaknesses and limitations, are within the limits of general sanity. Yes, of course, Christians are also well aware that the unbelieving world accounts us mad and crazy fools to believe the Bible, whereas we are content to rest in the wisdom of God. So is sanity relative? 

Peter has a word on this subject, when he exhorts 'The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded... ' (1 Peter 4:7). The word 'sober-minded' translates a word that means having a 'sound mind', 'sound sense', and 'being discreet' or 'prudent'. Today, we may not value these traits too much, but let's not forget that Christianity is concerned with the mind, of loving God and others and cultivating a healthy, balanced mind that doesn't fly off the handle and is discerning and knows how to stay calm in the midst of the storm. A Christian sanity grounded in Scripture is a much needed subject that is not to be confused with self-help psychology and the attempted integration of secular counselling into Christian belief that has caused so much confusion.
6. MATURITY 

Our last subject 'sanity' is a good introduction to 'maturity'. Here, with Christ as our Saviour, we learn to face trials, none of which are accidental. Here, we can say with Paul; 'we [also] rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope... ' (Romans 5:3). This is the humble pathway to Christian maturity. A maturity that never thinks highly of itself, and is always marked by a life of prayer. Here we continue to say, 'I can do all things through him who strengthens me' (Philippians 4:13). 

With these six more 'ity' topics, I hope we shall be able to grow in our life in Christ.

Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D. has authored several books and many articles that offer answers for many of life's big questions - 'Is biblical Christianity finished, or does it still speak to the 21st century?' Take a look at my ebook or paperback, 'DAWKINS' DILEMMAS' to see how Richard Dawkins' atheistic belief cannot support itself, either as philosphy or science. Use the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Dawkins-Dilemmas-Deluded-question-ebook/dp/B007RFLYI8/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_t_2 My title, 'Darwin's Puzzle - Unravelling the Riddle of Reason' discusses how the evolutionary beliefs of Charles Darwin destroy human reason. He admits this when he says he inherited his thinking from monkeys. And try this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ZE34GG  Use my books and articles to help you find faith in Christ, or to strengthen your faith. Also find titles on other websites - Thank you! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_J._S._Austin,_Ph.D. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7330673


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