What is the essence of Christianity?
The essence of Christianity is that we are all apart of Christ. And that when we act upon any human or any living being we act upon a piece of God Himself. So an effort to edify and bless all life is the goal of Christians.
God’s law is written in your heart. Let your heart be your guide. Spiritual discernment is one of the spiritual gifts we can lay hold of. We know naturally what is right and what is wrong. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The origin of the word Christianity.
A breakdown of the word Christianity will shed some light on what it really is. The word breaks down into something like “Christ-like-state.” Christ is self explanatory. The suffix ian means related to, like, belonging to, or having the same properties of. And the suffix ity means state or condition. So “Christ-like-state” is what Christianity really is.
Who or what is Christ?
Christ is the image of God in human form. That means you, I, your brother, sister, neighbor, cousin, uncle, everyone is apart of Christ. The Bible can speak for me here. I will then explain a little more about it.
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:4
That is not the way you learned Christ! For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds. And to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. ~ Ephesians 4:20-24
You are created in the image of God. It says so in Genesis 1:26. Even your neighbors are created in the image of God. Even your enemies! That is hard to accept for all but the humble.
We are all one with Christ.
There are many verses in the Bible that explain how we are one with Christ and what that means. One of my favorite verses is Jesus’s prayer for us, the believers.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I 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 17:20-23
Jesus prayed that we would be one as he is one with God. He isn’t saying he is God, but that he is one with God and that we are one with God as he is.
The apostle Paul made a great metaphor of us making up the body of Christ so when asked “who or what is Christ” we can say “all of us are Christ.”
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. ~ 1 Corinthians 12:27
so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. ~ Romans 2:5
What being one with Christ means.
The final judgment parable explains perfectly how we are one with Christ, one with God. I will post part of the passage here so you get the essence of it and then explain it further.
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 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, 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.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“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.’ Matthew 25:31-40
God doesn’t want anyone left behind. This virtue binds us together. The ones that neglect their neighbors will suffer for as long as they keep that up.
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. ~ Matthew 7:12
Some people have missed the boat here on what being a Christian means. They judge others and condemn them and scold them for not believing as they do. It would appear a good thing that those they scold don’t believe like they do or else we would all be really hateful to each other!
How to get into a Christ-like-state.
The judgmental people I was talking about above are a perfect example of how to get into a Christ-like-state. Do exactly the opposite! Learn to forgive others and be merciful. Love others as you would love God. See His image in them. Really, make a focused effort to see God’s image in people and remember to see the image of God in yourself. Accept people as they are and trust in God that He will work them out. Don’t fret over their eternal soul! God has them taken care of. You are not responsible for their soul, nor are they responsible for yours.
Another important way to get into a Christ-like-state is to study His word as often as you can. Surround yourself with God and Christ by studying His word.
Being good to other people in the best way to get into a Christ-like-state. Praying, seeking God, and practicing charity are two of the most important things on your spiritual journey. When you bless others you are practicing one of the most Christian things you could do. Jesus Christ blessed the whole world by fulfilling His duty to God. And when you bless people in your own special way you are following in his footsteps.
Christianity is sometimes misunderstood but all things will come to light. Some people view it as a “religion” but Christianity is more of a condition you are in. It is a way of life, a way of interacting with the world, and a feeling.
We are all the image of God in human form just like the Bible says. That is everyone’s honor and responsibility. That we are all extraordinary and magical is what should be shared with the world. It can lift people out of the depths! It certainly did for me and many other people throughout history.
That we are all one with Christ means that when we meet God on judgment day He will ask us about how we treated each other because that was how we treated Him in a sense. It is a most sobering reminder that we need to be good to people and to ourselves!
To get into a Christ-like-state we must intend good for all people and all life, study God’s word, and follow in Jesus’s footsteps trusting in God’s guidance.
I hope you see that the essence of Christianity is quite simple and not nearly as complicated as some would have you think. We are all made in the image of God and we interact each day with His image in human form.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” ~ Revelation 21:3-4