Christianity is commonly defined by doctrinal statements or that list of “what we believe” on every churches web site. We also define Christianity in terms of our ministries, outreach efforts, and our vision statements. Our Christianity can become little more than how many services we have each week, what this week’s Sunday school topic is, or the required prayer before a meal. We live our Christian lives as a series of events that we participate in simply because it is expected of us or because all the other Christians do them.
Somehow with all of this activity going on, with all of these Christian “duties” we lose sight of what the true purpose of being a Christian is. Christianity is quite simply put, a personal relationship with our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. When we lose sight of our personal relationship with Christ we lose sight of our first love as John wrote to the church of Ephesus in Revelation chapter 2. Writing to the church at Ephesus he tells them they have obtained doctrinal and moral purity, have a zeal for the truth, and uphold that truth for Christ’s name, but they stopped drawing closer to Christ and their relationship had become cold and mechanical, they have lost their first love.
Those of the Church at Ephesus would have done well to take heed to John’s words, God’s words, the words of Jesus Christ, as would we all. These first seven verses of Revelation chapter 2 are written to the church at Ephesus but also to each of us as well. After all we are member’s in particular of the body of Christ. The church is the body of Christ, correct? That’s Ephesians 5:23 and Colossians 1:24. As ‘members in particular’ we are each a unique and special part of the whole body. So as members of the body, the church, Revelation 2 is written to us as well. If you’re not convinced read verse 7 there in Revelation 2 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;” Even though that message is written to the church at Ephesus, every church, in fact everyone, needs to hear that.
There is no substitute for an ever-growing love for Christ. When our relationship with Him ceases to flourish, when it ceases to be warm and intimate, then it ceases to grow. The time spent with Christ becomes infrequent, the bible goes in the drawer, prayer takes a back seat. We cease to grow as members in particular and as the body of Christ. The members began to wither and become malnourished. When all is said and done Christianity is a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is having a deep and intimate, living, growing relationship with the Lord.
Joseph Trimbath 05/09/2018