Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

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What is Christianity?

The Question:

What is your view on Christianity?  What is the most important element of Christianity?

Our Answer:

If you were to take all but one thing away from Christianity, you would be left with Christianity's core.  What is that core?  It is our relationship with Jesus Christ.  Everything that we believe and do as Christians makes no sense if it is not based on our relationship with Jesus.  It is through our relationship with Jesus that we are saved from the punishment of sin - saved from death.  Through our close relationship with him, we place our trust in him, and accept his sacrifice, his death in place of our own.  We submit to him, and acknowledge that we are sinful and need his strength and power to overcome sin.  We acknowledge that his way is right and just.

What is the essence of relationship?  When does a relationship begin?  When does a relationship cease to exist?  The answer to all three of these questions is "communication".  When we first communicate with somebody we start a relationship with that person, whether it be with a work associate, a friend at church or school, or someone who we end up marrying.  By the same token, when we stop talking to someone for a long time, our relationship with that person ceases to exist.  It also worth noting that in order for a relationship to function the communication must be two-way communication.

Our relationship with Jesus should be the most important relationship in our lives - more important than our work associates, our friends, and even our spouse.  In order to maintain such an important and close relationship, the level of communication must rival that of our closest human relationships.  Take, for example, our relationship with a wife or husband.  Such a relationship, for the most part, requires daily communication, otherwise it will become stale and degrade.  The same is true of our relationship with God.

But, you ask, how do we maintain a close, daily, two-way communication with God?  We cannot talk with him face-to-face; we cannot call him up on the telephone; and we cannot write personal letters to him and read his personal response.  While on the surface this may be true, the fact remains that it is possible to have two-way communication with God.  How?  Consider the following:

These two separate forms of one-way communication unite to form a single two-way communication between God and us.  So in order to maintain a full, close, relationship with God it is essential that this two-way communication be maintained every day - we must pray to God every day, and read our Bible every day.  We talk to God through prayer: God talks to us through the Bible.  If we let either of these two aspects of our communication with God slip, then two-way communication is broken, and our relationship with God suffers as a result.

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