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The Persecuted Church

 

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What is historic authentic Christianity?

 Today we have thousands of groups (often categorized as cults) that claim to keep or restored true Christianity. Some major on certain points and issues others add to the word by their own teachers and prophets.

The definition of true Christianity must be found in its source, the Bible. There are numerous doctrines one must hold to have the Christian distinctive. Certain teachings were not accepted and were challenged in the infancy of the church. Some can be found in the Bible. Other challenges are found in early church history.

So we need to find in the Bible the main teachings to know whether we are practicing the Spiritual way Jesus gave us to be the church and called Christian i.e. believers, followers of Christ Jesus.

First and foremost we must believe in the gospel which is about His death; His crucifixion to forgive us our sins and bring us into a relationship with God, our creator. Three points are part of the gospel message, Jesus died (from crucifixion) was buried and rose again unto life eternal in the same body (1 Cor.15:1-4).

Historic Christianity, no matter what denomination or non denomination one may be, adheres to the core doctrines presented in the Bible. And the church preaches Jesus Christ alone for salvation, they are to use the Bible to confirm what they say and practice. It also means they must interpret the Scripture in its whole, in context,distinguishiing the old and New Covenants.

True Christianity does not say one must join a particular church denomination, but a church that teaches and practices the Bible. There were no denominations in the early church, only churches known by their city. Each church was different in how they worked among the people they were placed with.  Everyone who is born again becomes part of the church by being put in the body of Christ that had begun at Pentecost.

   Christianity is categorized as a religion but it conducts itself as a relationship that works from the inside out. It is about mans heart and soul being changed by Godís Spirit, not about outward rituals or ceremonies he obeys. It is about changing mans sinful condition  becoming more like the saviors holinesss. This is the result of the gospel; every believer is given the Holy Spirit to live in them who conforms us as individuals to the savior.

 It is life changing in that one is no longer what they were but are being changed from day to day into the image of Godís Son who is Holy. Sin becomes detestable and is resisted to be overcome instead of a lifestyle of repeated harm to oneself and others.

Jesus said we are to be in the world but not of it. In other words we live as others do but our affection is first toward pleasing God, obeying Him. So we avoid following the trends and ways of the world that promote carnality and grow the fallen nature. The ways of the world and philosophies are not to influence us. We are to be separate, following Christ to grow our spiritually through the word of truth. By the Holy Spirit in us , he will teach us what is true and false, confirming it by the Word.

The early church was not about wealth and success, but about the gospel and discipleship; they spoke on sin. The Church grew by being bold and presenting the truth, at the center of the early church was the gospel message (Acts 13:29-39). They taught and encourage the believers in their adversity and trials. Suffering was a way of life to the early Church that was among pagan and heathen cultures.

The early church was devoted readers of Godís Word and also read of other religions and philosophies so they could be equipped to be better at reaching them. They were bold and confronted deceivers in the church that brought in new or distorted teachings, whether it was the Judaizers who held the the old covenants law[s] or the Gnostics. who were into mysticism and spiritualizing words.

Christianity is a new life where there is supposed to be joy in place of depression or anguish. It is a daily transformation by faith - that we no longer depend on our talents or abilities but on God. That He cares for us as his children and whatever is taking place in our life has a reason and a purpose. He does not abandon his children. n.

Most importantly Christianity is based on love, our love toward God and toward our fellow man. We cannot love  people correctly without loving God.  The success of the primitive Church was living out this love:  Galatians 5:13: ďbut through love serve one another.Ē Those who were filled with the spirit were bold to witness, to give people the love of God by the gospel message.

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