Sometimes you find old gems hidden deep in your digital archives.
This one below is more than 20 years old and written by my late father.
The year I don't know unfortunately, but it must be from the late 1990s.
What is Christianity?
'That I may know Him'. (Phil.3: 10)
Christianity is Christ Jesus. Everything that Christianity is and everything that Christianity offers is embodied in one Person.
The power and the glory of the Christian faith is to know Him - Him, Who became flesh; the crusified, the risen , the ascended to heaven and glorified Lord Jesus Christ.
His Own are waiting at His return with joyful expectation. Christianity is to know a Person, not following a system or a complex set of rules. Christianity is a living faith in a living Christ, not a precisely observance of outwardly forms. This is what Christianity makes as the light of the sun, while the other religions only are as the light of the moon: nice to be seen but cold, without any influence, lifeless.
However the sun is light and warmth and power and life. Yes, there is a measureless difference between being a follower of a cold and lifeless system and a throwing yourself on a warm beating heart. To know Him means: to know the love and the compassion of a living Person - to know the joy and the privilege of true fellowship. The Christian is not only saved;
A Christian has a Saviour!
The Christian is not only redeemed: he has a Redeemer.
The excellence of our Christian faith is this: the centre is a living Christ; the secret of his power is a living faith in that living Christ.
The world, the flesh and the devil are a threefold bond of powers ( outward , inward and devilish ) directed against the Christian, attacking him in the three spheres of his being ( body, soul and spirit ) trying to defeat him.
However when the Christian accepts the glories secret of the wonderful truth of knowing Him - the Person - the Lord Jesus Christ - than he will experience the same things in his life, as what Saul of Tarsus experienced in his life.
Saul became Paul
Saul has once followed a system - followed with great effort and earnestness, and with all the energy of the natural man. He thought he did the right thing. Than came the experience on the road to Damascus, where suddenly a light from heaven surrounded him. And he heard the voice of a living Person the Lord Jesus Christ: 'Why persecutest thou Me?' ( Acts .9: 3,4 ) At that moment all the activity of the natural man, with all the power of hell in the background, stopped; and than came the shout of the heart, get away out of the dust - a heart that now understands that it deals with a living Person; 'Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?' (Acts.9: 6) From that moment on it was: 'But what things were gain to me, those I loss for Christ'.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus My Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ". 'That I may know Him' and not 'it' but Him, a living Person - the Lord Jesus Christ. 'That I may win Christ and being found in Him'.
And now a new zeal and a tireless energy got hold of him ( Saul became Paul ): 'I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus'. ( Philip .3: 7-14 )
On behalf of all that is written before, the Christian learns to know, that Christianity is Christ. He will experience the results of a life within - Christ in him; the witness of the Person of Jesus Christ in him: because the witness of the Person of Jesus Christ is the power of His life in and through His limbs (through the Holy Spirit). Than the Christian clearly understands the meaning of the words of the apostle Paul: 'For me to live is Christ'. (Phil. 1:21) From the bottom of his heart he can say, in same way as Paul, these triumphant words: 'I know Whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day. (2 Tim.1: 12 ) We rejoice at the glory and the beauty of this all, as we once again hear the words, that 'God , Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness , hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ'. (2 Corinth. 4: 6)
Willem van Riesen,