Christianity–Far More than Religion

Acts 26:4-5–My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straightest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

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Paul here says that he lived according to religion. A few verses later he reveals his conversion experience through a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.  His life changed from a persecutor of the church to a great missionary and servant of Christ.

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines religion as “belief in a superhuman power to be obeyed and worshiped and is expressed in conduct and ritual”.  Christianity goes even beyond that.  It is more than a belief, obedience, and worship; it is the receiving of a new, spiritual, and eternal life.  Christianity is receiving a new, spiritual life having been “born of the Spirit” (John 3:5).  It is becoming partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).  It is living that new, spiritual life as we walk in the Spirit.  The Christian experience is a gift of God to humanity.  It is God’s desire to lift us up from the level of the natural man to a new spiritual way of living.  It is God’s desire to renew our minds and transform our lives.  It is God’s desire to share His life with us and to become a part of our life here on this earth.  It is God’s desire to teach us, lead us, and empower us to live on this higher, spiritual level.  In order to do this it requires spiritual growth.  It requires that this growth take place within certain new spheres of existence; the body of Christ, the church.  It results in us having the capacity to have a positive influence on people we come into contact with.  This Christian Experience extends beyond life in this world to a new dwelling place in eternity.  Let us make the most of our Christian experience by living the “abundant life” that Jesus came to give us (John 10:10).  Jesus said, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).  Experience Him in your life today.