No. Christianity is not a religion. Then what is it? It is all of this:
- Christianity is freedom from religion.
- Christianity is the state of restored fellowship between God and Man. The fellowship was broken in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve sinning, but was restored by Jesus Christ when he died on the Cross 2,000 years ago to bear the penalty of our sins and to pay the price for our forgiveness.
- Christianity is something other than a lifestyle, because even the hippie style is a lifestyle, but God does not approve of it.
- To be Christian means to be a Christ-ian. So those who follow this faith or path should try to obey the commandments given by Jesus Christ. He said that “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21, ESV) So if you follow or want to follow Christianity, then the benchmarks have already been set by Jesus’ words. It is not easy, but he makes materialization of victory possible, no matter how difficult your situation – if you choose to elicit his help and obey him.
- Christianity is experiential. You cannot look at it from the outside and make conclusions. Once you repent of your sins, believe in Jesus’ incarnation, death and resurrection for you, and accept him as your exclusive Saviour and Lord, life becomes different. Then you won’t need to read this blog post again. You will be equipped to write it with your life.
If you have already made Jesus the centre of your life, then keep reading this blog and explore the earlier 100+ posts. If you have not yet made Jesus the centre of your life, first read this post and then read this post.
Is there any connection between the Easter egg and Jesus Christ? Well, none that I can think of. What, then, is Easter?
Most of us know that Jesus Christ died on the Cross 2000 years ago. That day was a Friday. Jesus died according to prophecy – to take the sins of all mankind upon himself, so that “whoever believes in him should not perish (die) but have everlasting life (in Heaven).” (John 3:16) Not everybody though, is aware that he rose from the grave on the third day – a Sunday. That day happened to be the day on which people from many cultures celebrated a festival called Easter. They worshipped a fertility goddess and used the egg as a symbol of fertility. So the Easter egg has no connection with the central message of the Bible.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books with a single theme: God’s love for us so deep, that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) And Jesus walked out of the tomb on Easter Sunday, in a resurrected body – one that could pass through locked doors! To all those who receive Jesus as their personal Saviour (one who saves) and Lord and repent of their sins; God promises a similar indestructible body even though they may die physically. That’s the only theme of the Bible: forgiveness of sins and salvation through belief and faith in Lord Jesus Christ.
So should we celebrate Easter? Well, that depends on what you want – fertility only, or
fertility plus everything else plus eternal life! The choice is yours to make… This post can help you make that choice.
Mercy and Grace are 2 sides of the same coin. Mercy is when God does not give us what we deserve, i.e. punishment for our sins against Him and others. Instead He forgives us for our sins. Grace is when He gives us what we don’t deserve, i.e. the assurance of everlasting life in heaven with Him and the strength and wisdom and the heart to pray to Him, to wait upon Him and cooperate with Him so that His plan for our life bears fruit. So actually, it’s not Mercy vs Grace, but Mercy and Grace.
The unique thing about the coin of Mercy and Grace is that it falls with both sides up, making you a winner 2 times over!
Forgiveness of sins is difficult. Forgetting them is even more so. This small but interesting story conveys a significant point:
Two monks were walking down a path when they came to a river. A lady stood there, beautifully dressed. She requested them to carry her on their back so she would not get wet. Immediately, one of the monks lifted her up and began carrying her on his back. The other monk followed them. As soon as they had crossed over to the other side, the monk carrying the lady put her down. She went her way, while the monks went theirs.
After covering some distance, the other monk, who couldn’t contain his inquisitiveness and self-righteousness, asked his buddy: “In our religion, we are not allowed to touch women. So why did you carry her?” Pat replied the first monk, saying “I put down the lady a long time ago; but why are you still carrying her?”
Sometimes, we tend to carry grudges against others long after even God has forgiven them. By sinning against us, they had offended God first and us only next. And if He has forgiven them, who are we to hold it against them!
So, have you put down the lady, or are you still carrying her on your back? If you are, why bear the burden? Hand it over to Jesus. Think about it. Then forgive and forget, God’s way.