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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Christianity is NOT a Belief-system. Christianity is Christ

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Joined: 2012/5/27
Posts: 274

 Re: Christianity is NOT a Belief-system. Christianity is Christ

Hi! 'Pilgrim777'

I must admit that the title of your Thread struck me as something compelling, "Christianity is NOT a Belief-system. Christianity is Christ".

Anyways, the more I pondered the title and, especially after reading the Post through to the end, it kinna' left me feeling that I had jus' gulped a barrel of noisy air.
While I was in full agreement with "Not a belief-system", I was somewhat disappointed with the concluding statement saying, "Christianity is Christ".

I found myself somewhat agreeing with the member 'RoadSign' comment saying: "I think the real concern is the possibility of faulty doctrine or a faulty belief system that distorts God’s redemptive purposes and plan through Christ". Although, I myself might have rendered it as, "Those who distort God's ultimate plans and intents with man by preaching a gospel about following in the footPRINTS of Jesus rather than in His footSTEPS".
Otherwise, we only have a gospel of elevation from out of an old life and not a resurrection into a newness of life.

I'm not trying to be knit-picky 'er anything ... but Christianity is not merely "Christ" ... it is something far more ... the RISEN, CROWNED Christ of glory!

Christianity will always remain a belief-system and/or lifeless ideology for those who fail to recognize the Risen Christ Who is now seated in the heavenly places and Who is crowned with honor and glory; and Who is the First-Born of the New Creation.
Jesus has been made both Christ and Lord by God. He is not only the Christ of God, but also the Kurios of God. With that He receives a 'name' equal to that of the Most High.
Our Crowned Jesus Christ can only be found and followed after in heavenly places.

This is why we must purpose to follow after the footSTEPS of Jesus so that we honor His prayer saying, "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me".

Following the footPRINTS of Jesus while He walked the shores of Galilee will never reveal His honor and glory. We must follow His footSTEPS into the heavenly places if we wish to see Him not only as the Messiah but as the Re-Creator and Restorer Who is crowned with unimagined honor and glory.

 2012/7/21 10:16Profile

Joined: 2010/10/6
Posts: 169


Blayne maybe i misunderstand some of your taught or need to get some light through you. the question is, How can one get Christ, without having the risen, glorified Christ?


 2012/7/21 10:33Profile

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


Hi Bakary,

Glad you were blessed by the article.

I will add a couple of my own thoughts and I don't know if this will help alleviate some concern that James Fowler is throwing out doctrine (teaching of Christ), although clearly he is not if you ever just look at his Bible Study tab.

Do you know how Muslims call Christians "people of the Book"?

Why do they do that? Why don't they call us "people of the Spirit", instead or "little Christs"?

I thought about this for quite some time and my own conclusion is that they call us the "people of the Book", because we (Christians) have made Christianity into a "Book Religion". Clearly, when we think of Paul and John and the Apostles (at least when I do), I don't think about how much "knowledge" they have, but rather how close to the Lord, how surrendered and submitted to Him they are and how focused they are on heavenly things.

And God never intended that we should worship the Book. That is bibliolatry, making the Bible into a physical idol. The reverence that many Christians attach to the book is dangerously close to idolatry of the Bible.

Let me pose this question? Does it follow that if we can just get our "doctrine" right then we will know Christ?


Do the Scriptures teach that "If any man will do His will", then shall he know of the doctrine (teaching), whether it be of God or not?

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

Is the learning of God's will in arriving at right doctrine or is it the other way around? The learning of God's will (and thus the learning of God), is attained by submission and obedience to Christ, not a set of rules and regulations obtained through a systematic theological codification of the Scriptures.

The distinction that we must try to make since we upheld as "the people of the Book", is that we must uphold the living Christ above the book.

Blayne, the article opened up with this statement:

"Western society, steeped in Aristotelian rationalism, always seeks a formulated and systematized ideology to adhere to. Christianity is not a belief-system, but the vital dynamic of the very Being of the person and life of Jesus Christ by the Spirit."


Christianity is not the religion of the Book. Christianity is Christ! Christianity is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man. It is not the study of, memorization of, or adherence to the principles and propositions and precepts of a bound-book.

I love the Scriptures and they are always circulating within my spirit and I test and discern through the combination of the renewing of my mind with the Scriptures through all the many years I have read them and with the help of the Spirit. Mostly, the help of the Spirit, because I have come upon some strange "species" of so-called Christians in these days where I cannot pinpoint doctrinally sometimes what the problem is, but the Spirit of God will always give me a check in my Spirit until He brings me clarification.

Let's see to be known as those who know and reflect Christ because of His Spirit indwelling us. Let's walk as He walked.

1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

I may have answered some questions and may have created more. Let the conversation continue. It's a good one.

My Muslim boss referred to Christians as "the people of the book", I took kind exception to that and we had a 3 hour conversation about the living, dynamic Jesus Christ and His life in us, today. She said that she has seen very little of these types of Christians, but she has seen a lot of "the people of the book".


 2012/7/21 11:36Profile


Diane wrote: **... If Christianity is NOT a belief system – why did Paul bother writing Romans? That epistle seems to articulate a belief system - an orderly system of thought –that rests on the foundation of Jesus Christ. The many quotations of Old Testament passages by Luke, Paul, and other NT writers demonstrate that this Jesus wasn’t just some faddish cult leader who suddenly popped up out of nowhere. This person, Jesus, was associated with a well-articulated system of beliefs, prophesies, and practices that had long-standing historical roots.

In following Jesus, believers in Paul's day were following far more than a lone individual doing his own thing. They were following something absolutely massive! Same for us.

My overall point then is this: In making an assertion, it is not always best to negate what may seem like its opposite. It is not always either/or – black or white. The truth may lie in the fact that it must be BOTH: both doctrine and Jesus; both belief system and Jesus.**

Amen, Diane.

A person could take this lead article and feel that they can just throw their Bible aside and walk in 'some spirit' - though we know that many haven't the foggiest what "walking in the spirit" is, nor how to "be led by The Spirit - nor do they know one of the Main purposes, that Christ has sent His "Spirit of Truth" for [besides sanctification by cooperation] and what 'our' responsibility is 'to' His Spirit within and how to not "grieve the Holy Spirit".
How does the Spirit of Truth lead us and how can one follow One Whom they don't 'hear' - mistake 'other voices for' - don't bother to even try to not walk in their own understanding or flesh and in All of their ways, acknowledge Him so that He would "direct their paths" and fulfill the verses from Romans 8 - Galatians 5 and see Him as the One to fulfill these verses ? ...

Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

There's a horrible pandemic problem that's entered the Church over the last 50 yrs or so and it borders on "spiritism" and easy-believism because the people have belittled The Word of GOD in their lives. Some have discerningly called it the apostasy from Truth. The Truth found in His Word that is The Foundation for HIS Church.

 2012/7/21 11:41

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


Thank you, JiG.

We are not saying the Scriptures are irrelevant and non-important and the Apostle's teaching or Christ's teaching are irrelevant and non-important.

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

But we worship a living, dynamic Christ, not an historical Christ.

Question for all: Is the Christ you are walking with each day, Static or Dynamic. Is He the historical Christ or the ever present and very active, LIVING CHRIST?


 2012/7/21 11:46Profile


If The Spirit 'of' Christ dwells within a person and they've learned His Voice - John 10 - then HE is alive and well and the 'only' One to be dependent on And to Listen To.

I find your question to be insulting to His true Sheep.

 2012/7/21 11:49

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


Hmmm, what is that rising up inside you?

Do you find this insulting? Paul was writing to the true sheep, at the time.

2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

I have never found this insulting, myself. I have always received it as a warning and a challenge and a very strong admonishment.

There was a brother, recently on SI that repented of "following an Historical Christ".


 2012/7/21 12:02Profile


Hmmm, what is that rising up inside you?

Implying what, Pilgrim?

I don't care for your misleading article and others from that particular site that you so much depend on and follow.

I don't find HIS Word insulting in the least but I am offended at men that feel that they are the grand-spokesman for The LORD of Glory, when I find that their work leads more people 'away' from His Word than toward it and in some cases - contradicts His Word.
It's that 2% arsenic that we're always discussing here.
You and I have discussed that part before and about following men.
It's not His Word that I disagree with.

 2012/7/21 12:17

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


I sure hope the conversation continues and there are no misunderstandings as to the thoughts trying to be conveyed. I see from the posting of several other threads that many others want to talk about our Living Christ and the indwelling Spirit of God.

I will be offline the rest of the day and tomorrow. I am blessed and encouraged by many replies.

His peace to All,

 2012/7/21 12:37Profile

Joined: 2012/5/27
Posts: 274


by bakary on 2012/7/21 7:33:30
Blayne maybe i misunderstand some of your taught or need to get some light through you. the question is, How can one get Christ, without having the risen, glorified Christ?

Hi! 'Bakary'

I so much appreciate your asking this question because it answers to the very basis of our Christian experience.

By way of explanation, let's first answer the question: When did the Apostles become acquainted with the glorified Christ?
The Jesus they listened to and followed after on the shores of Galilee was not the glorified Christ.
It was only when Jesus appeared for forty days on the earth, (after His death and resurrection), that the disciples met and saw the glorified Christ; when He suitably appeared in His glorified body.
"To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God", Acts 1:3).

So, that might possibly be the answer to your question about my prior comments. The disciples of Jesus were eagerly following after the footPRINTS of Jesus for three years. But it was only AFTER the death and resurrection of Jesus, that they met the glorified Christ, (during the forty days).

Yet, another question needs to be answered:
How did the disciples follow the glorified Jesus?
The simple answer: by following after His footSTEPS.
And, where do those footSTEPS lead?
To heavenly places; where our glorified Jesus reigns as king.

And this brings us full circle to the verse: "And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus".

And, what enabled the disciples to follow in the footSTEPS of the glorified Jesus; to live and walk and have their being (citizenship) in the heavenly places?
Simple answer: the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Why is that?
The disciples did not know about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. When the disciples were following the footPRINTS of Jesus, "the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified", (John 7:39).

What happened when the disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit?
Their human spirit united with the Holy Spirit as in a spiritual bond of marriage; "he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him", (1Cor 6:17).

But that's just half the story!
The baptism of the Holy Spirit resurrects us to a new "home" where we live and have your being with the One Whom we are now united with. This is why we have been "raised up" to "sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus". This is why it also says that we have been "resurrected to newness of life".

Those who only follow after the footPRINTS of Jesus, invalidate their marital vows by choosing to remain as citizens of the earth.

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God". This verse invites us to follow after the footSTEPS of Jesus; to ascend into the heavenly places and to abide with the glorified Christ in a "newness of life".

And, a final question needing to be answered:
What did the glorified Jesus speak about to His disciples during those forty days?
The simple answer: "Things pertaining to the kingdom of God". (Acts 1:3).

What is the gospel of the Kingdom?
It is the gospel OF Jesus; not merely the gospel ABOUT Jesus. It is the gospel which Jesus Himself preached and also which He prophesied saying, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come", (Matt 24:14).

It is the gospel of the Kingdom which instructs us about following in the footSTEPS of Jesus; about following after Jesus and taking up our position in the unseen world to live and rule with Him as royal children and maturing sons of God.

 2012/7/21 13:23Profile

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