Apr 11

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To what do you appeal for answers when looking for what is authorized in your life? Where do you go when seeking information for what is authorized in your religion? Well, let’s put it this way, to whom do you go when looking for authority in the church you are a member of?
The question may be asked, why the last question? It may be the case that some people, in fact, it may be the case that many people do not look at the “church” they are a member of as having any relationship to their manner of life. Therefore, a study is needed to bring all of the above questions into one question: “By what authority do I live my life?” The apostle Paul wrote: “These things write I unto thee, … that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God…” (1 Tim. 3:14-15). There is a manner of behavior in “the house of God, which is the church.” Behavior being the way we live; thus, by what authority do we live our life?
This article is not addressing the person who lays claim to living outside of Christianity, but is directed only to those who confess to being a Christian. Let it be understood, Christianity is not a biblical word, but it is a word that is here used to embrace the teaching of Christ. The word “Christianity” means: “the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices.” The apostle John defined it this way: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). “Christianity” is that religion which adheres, abides within the teachings of Christ! It never goes beyond, and it never cuts off any part, any part of the teaching of Christ! Therefore, “Christianity” may be seen as a square, or circle, which ever you may prefer, which contains the teaching of Christ.
It is also understood that we have already lost some folks, as they do not like the idea of being confined; but please understand, the teaching of Christ is confining, as it is one body of teaching. If you claim to be a Christian; keep in mind, the root of the word is “Christ;” therefore, the word Christian lays the claim of saying, “I am of Christ!” Christ is my authority for my manner of life! He is the code of my behavior! The word “code” meaning: any authoritative, systematic, and written statement of legal rules and principles applicable in life; and the written statement is the teaching of Christ! Remember John used these two words: 1) “transgresseth,” which means: to go past and 2) “abideth,” which means: to remain in; both relating to the teaching of Christ. Therefore, the teaching of Christ marks the limits, which one must remain in and must not go beyond; if he is to rightfully lay claim to being a Christian!
Of course, this is not the answer you get, when you ask, “What is a Christian?” Let us go back to the first time the word was used. Luke is the first inspired writer to use the word: “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). It should noted that the “disciples,” in this case, disciples of Christ, were called “Christians.” If one is not a “disciple” of Christ, he cannot be a “Christian!” The word “disciple” (mathétés) means: a learner, pupil, and generally, a follower. So, if you know nothing of the teaching of Christ, you are not a pupil and you need to start being a learner; if you are not learner of Christ, you are not a follower of Christ; therefore, you are not a Christian!
Now get this, whatever you may claim, if you are not a learner of the teaching of Christ, you are not a follower of Christ; if you are not a follower of Christ, you are not a Christian! Now, let us be even bolder, if you do not abide within the teaching of Christ, the authority of Christ, you are not a Christian! Therefore, the importance of the question: “What is the authority for my life?” Where do I go for the answers to my questions about what is right and wrong? Where do I go to find what I must do to be pleasing to the one true God?
Finally, please answer this question: “What is my authority for the way I live my life?”

— Frank R. Williams

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