By Earl Robertson
Christianity is the religion derived from Jesus Christ. The noun “Christian” is used three times in the New Testament, but this companion word is not found therein. It is first found in the so-called Church Fathers (Ignatius), and there retains its proper identification. Objectively, Christianity is the religion of Christ, which exists solely upon the divine revelation of God’s will to man. This revelation affirms that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Messiah, an Old Testament word, means anointed. Christ of the New Testament is the Messiah of the Old Testament and means anointed. The root Chrio from which the word Christ comes means “to touch with the hand,” “to besmear,” “to anoint.” God anointed Jesus (Lk. 4:18; Acts 4:27; 10:38).
Christianity is a distinctive religion. It is historically grounded because its founder was an actual person who lived in this world at a certain time. Christianity is in character supernatural, because it depends upon divinely revealed truth. This revelation informs us of the self-disclosure of God in Christ (John 1:1-14; 1 Tim. 3:16). Man no longer has to grope in the dark; the historical Christ promised by the prophets of the Old Testament came, was identified by the Father (Matt. 17:5), and was confessed to be the Christ the Son of God by both His friends and His enemies (Matt. 16:16; 27:54).
The coming of Christ into the world was to effect reconciliation between God and man (Eph. 2:16). His coming was to save sinners by the sacrifice of Himself (Lk. 19:10; Heb. 2:9; 9:26). The salvation offered by this sacrifice is guaranteed to everyone that “believeth and is baptized” (Mark 16:15, 16). The gospel of Christ makes this promise! Furthermore, the gospel of Christ is God’s power to save the believer (Rom. 1:16). The reason is the fact that God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel (Rom. 1:17). This affirms the exclusiveness of the very basis of Christianity: it does not grant that men are saved by any other means than the gospel of Christ. The creeds of men can have no part in the matter of human redemption! This conviction is derived from the inclusive and exclusive nature of divine revelation. We live by what God’s word says (Matt. 4:4). Christianity is a life duly subscribed to the truth of Him who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
Truth Magazine XXII: 6, p. 107
February 9, 1978