3 Truths Only Christians Understand
Why would anybody want to be a Christian?
A question on the lips of many in this world. In a culture driven by pleasure and "personal truths," it is not difficult to find this question lurking in the mind of any person. The Christian life is not luxurious, in fact, it is well known for persecution and 'living by faith alone.' Who would actively choose this way of life over the excess of seemingly self-fulfilling options? A fair question.
Often when I think of these questions my mind goes to a conversation between Jesus and his disciples. Don't worry, I am not going to get preachy here. Jesus has just given some very hard teachings to a gathering of his disciples. Teachings that would have basically flipped their religion upside-down and right-side up again. Their heads are spinning, their minds are racing, and many in the group become flustered. So much so, that the text says in John 6:66 that "many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him." Ouch. But here is my point, Jesus then turns to those remaining (his committed Twelve) and asks if they will leave him as well. And Peter's response nearly brings tears to my eyes every time: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
It is true. I believe, like Peter said, that Jesus has the words of eternal life and this is a truth (a real truth) that Christians understand. Alongside this foundational understanding of Jesus, there are three other truths I believe only Christians fully understand. These are truths that deep-root our Christian faith and empower us to share the message of Jesus with others. These are three reasons I am a Christian and three truths that only Christians will fully grasp and embrace.
- The power words have to transform lives. I am referring to the power of God's living Word known to many as the Holy Bible. More specifically, Christians understand the transformative power of the gospel message. There is a popular quote by author and international speaker, Yehuda Berg: “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” Berg is right. There is power in words, but none that can match the sovereignty of the gospel. Only one message saves sinners and brings them safely into the presence of God: the gospel of Jesus Christ. It alone is the power of God unto salvation.
- God can use broken people to do great things. God very rarely calls the qualified, but more often you find him qualifying the called. Every Christian plays a dominate role in the kingdom of God. Whether it was feeding thousands with a couple fish, or leading God's people out of exile. Whether is is preaching to thousands every week, or just being a good neighbor, every Christian plays a part in the story. God loves to use small things. The thrust of what follows, however, is the implication of that for us. Mark it down in big letters and underscore it, the fact that God delights in using nothings and nobodies means a great deal to his children.
- The impact one man had on the world. Christians understand the impact Jesus Christ made on our world. People who encounter the risen Christ are totally transformed. Their outlook on life is altered forever. Staying true to their faith, they do not hesitate to face hardship, persecution and even death. Many devote their lives to serving others, minimizing their own needs and desires. How can you match that impact with any other? Yale historian Jaroslav Pelikan writes of him, “Regardless of what anyone may personally think or believe about him, Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of Western culture for almost twenty centuries… It is from his birth that most of the human race dates its calendars, it is by his name that millions curse and in his name that millions pray.” To read more about how Jesus changed the world, check out this article written by John Ortberg for the HuffPost: Six Surprising Ways Jesus Changed the World.
Being a Christian is not a popular choice and it certainly is not an easy one. Regardless, I believe it is the most rewarding decision a person can make in life. Christians have a unique perspective on life that no other worldview can match. We have a message of hope, a source for morality, and an answer to some of the world's most difficult questions. Through Jesus, we have the words of eternal life. Now it is time we share them boldly.
If you think this message is something a close friend needs to hear, or this message impacted you, please share these truths with others.