So I find myself thinking about what makes Christianity, Christianity. What sets Christianity apart from other world religions? I thought if we had to enumerate the characteristics of Christianity what would be on that list? That thought grew into, what would be first on that list? Personally, I feel it would be love. I thought of how other world religions only know a vengeful, wrathful God that doesn't really love them, but may be appeased by various sacrifices. Now, Christianity does not remove the idea of a wrathful God but it does show that He is such a God only to those who refuse to obey. Christianity reveals a whole other side of God and that is one of love for a fallen and lost mankind, who delights in mercy. Jn 3:16
Christianity teaches a different standard and that is to love one another. Many teach that "loving" someone means to tolerate all falsehoods in the name of religion and permit every sin of man. Many believe that is loving someone. That is is not love according to the Bible. The Bible describes a love that rejoices in the truth. 1Co 13:4-6 The truth may hurt but it must be taught and it is to be taught in love. Eph 4:15 Consider this characteristic of love.
It starts with God's love for sinners, rebels, and His enemies, not our love for Him. 1Jn 4:10 The Bible clearly states God loved us first. 1Jn 4:19 It was mankind that had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23 The greatest characteristic of Christianity is love that is displayed through God sending His son to die on Calvary. Rom 5:10
Realizing God's love for mankind results in a returned love from man to God. The thought of God sending his son to be a sacrifice for us to be with Him should result is a deep love for God. Mt 22:37 Loving God is to love and obey His truth. Loving God is deeper than hearing the Word of God. We also must observe, or obey, it. Lk 11:28
That tells us loving God is found in obedience. Jn 14:15 Love and obedience can not be separated if we are claiming to be Christians. 1Jn 2:5 The problem is we see too many people with their hands in the air singing, "Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh how I love Jesus" but not obeying his commands! Love doesn't stop there.
We also have a love for our fellow man. Consider what is said in Rom 13:8-10. When the Bible tells us to love our neighbor, it involves loving those that are not Christians as well as those that are Christians.
Jesus also told us to love our fellow Christians in Jn 13:34 . Oh, how we often fail at this command. We are too busy fighting over music, styles of worship like contemporary or traditional, and who is to be saved. We get upset when someone who we do not want in the ekklesia is sought after. Even the disciples argued over who would be the greatest. We must love one another and look past our differences. We must start to forgive one another. Eph 4:31,32 Remember, forgiveness is for you, not the person doing who wronged you. Our forgiveness of others directly relates to our forgiveness from God. Mt 6:14-15;12 Love is the greatest characteristic of Christianity because it covers a multitude of sins. 1Pe 4:8
Today, share the love God has for mankind with someone. Share the love you have for God by by living the Word and not just hearing it. Share the love you have for you fellow man b y producing fruit in you life. Share the love you have for your brothers and sisters in Christ by looking the faults that we all have. I am asking you to display the greatest characteristic of Christianity to the world, and that is love!
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
We must hear the Word of God: Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4
We must believe or have faith: Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31
We must repent of our sins: Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30
We must confess Christ before others: Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37
We must be immersed into Christ (baptized) Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38
We must be faithful: Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22