Foundational Christianity

Have you ever wondered what truly began Christianity?  For those of you who have, let’s put it into our cultural paradigm.

A lot of us, especially in America, land in one of three categories –

  1. We profess Christ is King and live daily to exalt His name
  2. We are nominal Christians who claim to associate with Christ, but don’t follow His teachings or His commands
  3. See Christianity and roll our eyes at it’s hypocrisy.

Regardless of where you land, don’t skip to the next website quite yet. I want to share something with you that you have likely never heard before, or perhaps a different angle that you have never considered.  It will first begin with the familiar – Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life in the flesh as fully God and fully man, died for the inequities of those who call upon His name as King, and defeated death by rising from the grave by the power of the Holy Spirit three days later and living a short period of time before ascending to the right hand throne of God.  This is, in fact, the Gospel that brings forth transformation to millions who have experienced and encountered the authentic grace God provides through His mercy for His people.  But to the part that most don’t consider – the foundation of Christianity.  If you have either heard the Gospel or believe the Gospel, you have likely noticed there is an unexplainable joy for those who believe because Christ will later return for His people.  So what is this celebration?  Peter writes even that your adversaries will ask where your joy comes from.

So tell me again (#2 would ask), why are we celebrating a guy who’s followers helped crucify Him?  (If you’re in the #3 category, you’re like SEE this is hypocritical from the get go!)  But keep reading, I plead with you (#1 answer will follow)…

This unexplainable joy and peace that passes understanding is spoken in the Holy Scriptures numerous times and it is unexplainable, trust me, I try to understand it but fall short.  Here’s the thing most people disregard though, the foundation of those who are Christ followers.  These Christ followers participate in what is now called Christianity.

Back to Jesus and why we’re celebrating Him…You see the human flesh absolutely despises embarrassment, it probably hates embarrassment more than just about any other emotion.  If you embarrass a shy person, they will retaliate and hold it against you for quite possibly the rest of their life.  If you embarrass someone who is abrasive, it defeats their dominant persona.  If you embarrass someone anyone in-between, it will haunt them for a long time – it will soon become a memory of “Do you remember when…..happened? Oh, that’s so funny!” There is no defense mechanism for embarrassment, other than to embarrass the other person by way of retaliation.  It’s the one thing that leads to shame, which is a derogatory form of disassociation for either a temporary time or permanently.  Okay, now you are reading this and are confused because one second it’s about peace and joy, yet now we’re discussing shame and embarrassment?  Trust me, keep reading, we’re going to pull everything full circle!

So – think about, while reading this next section, what would be the most embarrassing thing that could possibly happen to you?  What would be the most shameful thing that could happen to you?  What if these things happened to you for being obedient?  Would you sacrifice temporary shame for eternal glory?

Jesus does this – as He proclaims that He is the Son of God, everyone quickly grows against Him.  So Judas, a disciple (12 total) of Christ and a good friend, betrays Jesus for financial gain by letting the government know their whereabouts and helping them capture Jesus, ultimately leading to His persecution.  So now, in obedience of God, Jesus accepts whatever punishment will come His way.  The punishment becomes brutal by being lashed, beaten endlessly, and hung on a cross.  Back tot he question, what would be the most embarrassing thing that could happen to you? What would be the most shameful thing that could happen?  Could you imagine how embarrassing and shameful it would be to be publicly beaten and crucified on a cross for being obedient to your father?  Yet by God’s grace, Jesus’ will-power, and gifting of the Holy Spirit, Jesus takes everything unashamedly and with unexplainable joy as Jesus knows that this temporal pain and punishment would lead to the glory of His Father and allow people for the rest of time to encounter Him in a new way.

So now do you think that Christianity was built upon unicorns and zebras? Far from it as you can see, it was built upon the scandalous grace of God, the shame experienced by Jesus, the slanderous comments by man to Jesus, and the torture He experienced for us.  That His sacrifice would atone for our sins.  That version of foundational Christianity is what should motivate us to experiencing new heights with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  That powerful love and sin-bearing weight atoned for us should motivate us beyond anything imaginable to share His amazing grace with the rest of the world.  It is thanks to Jesus’ enamoring joy and unashamed drive to live in obedience to His Father.  It is because of Jesus that we, Christians, have eternal hope. It is because of Jesus that we will sacrifice the temporal for the eternity.  It is because of Jesus that we live to by sanctified by the Holy Spirit and turn away from our sins.  It is to Jesus that we have thanks to give. Now that He has done these things, our hope rests in His return for His people, for it is in Jesus that we have our eternal security.

Book Launch!

Hey guys!

 

I know that over the past year or so, I have been slow to write a lot of blogs – unlike how I was cranking them out before.  This is largely because I have been going through several life changing events.  For example, I have gotten married, assisted in planting a church, moved, started a couple new jobs, and have been WORKING on my new BOOK!  Yes, you read that correctly, launching my own book!  Thanks for all of the loyal followers of this blog, it has made writing a book possible.  I truly thank you guys from the bottom of my heart.

 

So – since you guys are a large reason why I was able to receive the opportunity, I wanted to share a couple awesome things with you!

 

Below is the official cover & title !

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Also, we have corrected a website that’s currently in the midst of construction, but still available – http://www.DimChristianity.com

 

I encourage you go to this site and check all sorts of different things regarding this new book launch!  It will have my bio and a story on what started the book.  It will also cover who this book would be great for along with it’s purpose!

 

I am so incredibly blessed by God’s grace and thank you guys SO SO SO SO SO much for your continued support.

 

If you need to contact me directly for comments, questions on how to donate/purchase, questions around launch dates, or anything of that nature – I encourage that you check out all of the links to the right hand side.  >>>>>>>> (available if you’re on your iPad or desktop computer)

 

Otherwise – send me a line at Chris@DimChristianity.com and I will get back to you as soon as possible!

 

God bless!

Our Inability and Lack of Sufficiency:

People are…well confusing:

As humanity, we have a few distinct perpetual issues within ourselves that have been reoccurring for thousands of years.  These issues are mans faith in his (her) own ability and mans ability to believe in his (her) self-sufficient being. This broken down means that man does not need anything else (aside from himself), because man is provisional (provides) for himself. Unfortunately until the end of time, I am not sure that we can completely solve this issue.  So if we cannot solve this infinite problem derived in the core of man, how can we contain this mental virus that latches to each and every person across the globe? Due to the uncanny nature of the given issue and the inability to identify what the root of the issue is, we cannot solve this issue as easy as step 1, step 2, and step 3.

The Gospel has an ability to cure us of all-self issues, the answers can simply be revealed miraculously to us that by His love, by His (Jesus’) sacrifice, His raising, and His ascension that we are now justified.  This concept is called grace, something that Jesus freely offers to any soul that simply believes that He died for you and the rest of humanity, so that He would defeat death and give us a path to the glorious Heavens that the Father has prepared for us after our time has ended.  The worldly fallacy of help continues to be mans first place to seek, but I beg and plead to you that only Jesus can aid you in your hurting and your issues.

– Hebrews 2:18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

We have identified an issue and the only true solution to defeat any flesh problem, but I suspect that the issue isn’t an outward problem, thus it must be a heart issue:  A piece from a previous post,

This means that I said to God once again: I want to live for you, totally and completely. I want to be a new creation (2Cor.5:17), transformed by the love you have shown me. I know that I have done many wrong things, and even the righteous things that I do are not worthy of you (Isaiah 64:6). But I also know that God saved us because of His mercy, not because of things we had done (Titus 3:4-5). So from that day on, I make a commitment to God saying that what He thinks would be more important than what the world thinks or I think, and that all that I do will be for His glory, things that He wants me to do.

My next question would be this:  How can Jesus change our heart if Jesus is never the one on our heart?

I believe the first step in evaluating a potential solution to destroying your own stigma of your perfect ability and your self-sufficiency would be to let Jesus consume your heart.  Study Jesus, learn about His life and the teachings He provided for man.  It would even aid your overcoming to allow the Spirit to minister to your ailing heart.  It may impact you greater to just seek God and be still during your prayers rather than spouting off all that you believe the world desires may be.  Remember that one thought in prayer by God is more powerful than all your thoughts for your lifetime combined, we must be still and know He is near at all times.  When we begin to maintain and sustain this intimacy with the Father, our Father grows closer to the core of our hearts.  After our father grows closer to our hearts, we begin seeking out His perfect Word and what the Word says about every day living.  We must hand over ourselves in full submission rather than partial submission.  Often times when I think of true submission to the Father, I obviously think of Jesus, but specifically think of Jesus’ prayer in John 17.  Go read and let the high priestly prayer blow your mind in how submissive Christ is to The Father! Even with the contextualization that is mentioned there, I believe there is a more prevalent passage that illustrates us more as humans in how we need to trust God’s ability and God’s sufficiency rather than our own.

Matthew:18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Let’s check out the characteristics of a child and see if this could help contain the issue we’ve been tackling during this blog!

Children:

  1. Never desires authority
  2. Completely dependent on others
  3. Inability to do just about anything
  4. Joyful
  5. Mood isn’t impacted by socioeconomic status
  6. Children are color blind
  7. Children love one another
  8. Faith comes naturally

What if we could escape this grumpy culture that we dwell in and enjoy the Earth and enjoy God’s people the way that children do!  What if we never desired authority over The Father, as the child trusts his parents with everything.  Humans believe that they are the reason why they are surviving (although God breathes the breath through you), yet children cannot do anything alone and always need the assistance of someone.  Children are simply joyful while we are FLAT. OUT. GRUMPY. Children do not set a barrier of standards by tangible goods as we, adults, often do.  The child does not care whether they are riding in a Benz or a 1974 Ford beat-up pick up truck, they simply value the quality time spent with (x) person.  Amazingly children do not see color, ethnicity, age, or anything that would impact a potential relationship with another person, we are obviously pretty bad at that one too.  (Just study history) As people we struggle mightily to share love, peace, and forgiveness with our brethren or sisters, yet children love anyone and everyone.  To keep pounding on this point, to children faith comes naturally. If a dad tells his son that he kicks a cow over a fence, the child trusts that the dad is telling the truth and has complete faith in it…trust me, my dad actually told me that!!!!!!!

But as people, we struggle finding our identity in faith because we spend more time searching than trusting.  Jesus flat-out knows His stuff, of course He does, but this is something that we must not look over!  Perhaps it is good to learn from the wise elderly, but it is also wise to learn from the naive children whom love graciously without condition.

Father, my prayer:

Let us realize that there is complete ability in Christ, not ourselves.  Let us realize that we can have all-sufficiency in your grace (2Cor 12:9).  Father, let us count our trials joy and allow you to make those trials triumphs in your Son’s name (James 1:2).  Guide us in all that we do for You and we thank You for all that you continue to do on this Earth.  Aid us in reaching the lost and making them disciples, just as your Son did so masterfully to so many.