Isn’t Christianity just another religion?
Christianity is not about religion or being religious.
Christianity is a journey to intimate fellowship with God.
Many people have knowledge about religion, Christianity, and the Bible, but as the writer to the Hebrews warns, intellectual knowledge is not the same as vital faith. Knowing about God is not the same as having a personal relationship with Him.
This is clear from everyday relationships. Reading books on marriage is not the same as spending time with one’s spouse. Knowing someone’s phone number is a far cry from enjoying friendship with that person. Knowing who one’s customers are is not the same as dealing with a specific customer.
In the same way, knowing God involves far more than knowing about Him. Information alone does not produce tangible faith. To be sure, right thinking is involved in faith, but faith is more than mere knowledge. For example, the recipients of Hebrews knew quite a bit about the faith, such as the basic teachings about Christ, the need for repentance and for faith in God (Heb 6:1), and the meaning of baptism, ordination, resurrection, and judgment (Heb 6:2).
Nevertheless, without the constant work of cultivation [watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning], spiritual weeds soon sprout and in time take over, producing thorns rather than good fruit or grain (Heb 6:7-8). In that case, the crop [faith] is worthless and destined for burning. To avoid that outcome, diligent tending and development are required (Heb 6:11-12). Perseverance is crucial: we must never coast on past experience or former tidbits of knowledge.
Hebrews 6:1-12 (NLT)
1 So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. 2 You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.
4 For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come — 6 and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.
7 When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. 8 But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.
9 Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.
11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.
Categories: Good to Know
Karl D Rhoads
I am a Married, Forgiven, Imperfect Follower of Christ.
I am a recovered alcoholic (since July 12, 1999) and an ordained minister of the Gospel of Christ (since July 6, 2002).
I have been saved from the grave (more then a few times) by the loving hand of the God and Father of our Lord, Christ Jesus.
My heart's desire is to meet the needs of others with the love of Christ as he directs and enables me to do so.