St. Paul's Evangelical
Free Lutheran Church
21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
Evangelical - Confessional - Faithful
The Pastor's Thoughts
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16
How do we define Christianity? What is it that makes a person a Christian as opposed to anything else or nothing at all?
These are questions that have been asked in the Church for centuries and have occasionally roiled the Church so badly that one set of Christians set out to exterminate another set of Christians. Such an event as a war of Christians against Christians is unlikely to trouble us again, but people who are serious about their faith still ask the question, knowing that failing to ask could result in going down a wrong road.
St. Paul writes in Romans that if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts God raised Him from the dead we will be saved. That seems to answer the question, doesn't it? It should be pretty clear if all we have to do to find out if someone is a Christian is to refer to Romans 10:9. But sometimes it isn't.
When I went to seminary one of the first things I was taught was to always ask, when someone makes a statement, what they mean by the words they use, not what you mean by them. For example, there are people who, such as Unitarians, who can and sometimes do say that Jesus is Lord, but they don't mean that He is God, just that He is above other men. Still others who claim to be Christians say that Christ was not raised physically but in spirit and in the hearts of His followers - obviously not what Paul meant, but still, if you don't ask -
So how do we tell if someone or some church is teaching Christianity? We tell when we know Christianity solidly and completely. And how do we do that? We attend worship, study the Bible, speak with and fellowship true Christians whom we know to be trustworthy. Satan seeks to confuse us, the Bible teaches truth.
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