I know that I am perhaps stating the obvious here, but this is an important truth that cannot be overemphasized especially in our day where there is so much confusion regarding Christianity and Christ.
This statement, “Christianity is Christ,” sums up what the Bible teaches. Everything that we need to know for life and godliness is summed up not in a philosophy, a system or a way of life, but in the Person of Christ. He is the sum and essence of the gospel.
The gospel is an announcement of victory. Over 2,000 years ago, a war was fought. It was not a war between Jesus and the Jews – even though Jesus and the Jews fought and Jesus won. It was not a war between good and evil, even though there was a war between good (personified in Jesus) and evil (personified in Jesus’ enemies like Herod, Pilate, the Pharisees, the Jews, etc). In this war, the good won and evil was defeated. But that was not the real war. The real war was between God and Satan and that war was fought in the Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the “Battlefield” in that war. Thus the gospel is an announcement that the war has been fought and the victory has been won in Jesus Christ. That is the good news. Anything less or other than this is no gospel at all. And yet today, we hear preacher after preacher talking about a “gospel” that is devoid of Christ – a Christianity that is not rooted or sustained by Christ.
But Christianity is Christ and Christ is Christianity. If you take away Christ from Christianity, there is nothing left. You might as well give up the whole lot.
Let me take that a bit further following Mark’s understanding of this gospel. He calls it, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The name Jesus means “Savior.” The angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would have a son whom she was to name Jesus because He would save His people from their sins. The title Christ tells us that Jesus was God’s Anointed King. And the Son of God points to the fact that Jesus was not a mere Man. He is God. God Himself came in the Person of Jesus Christ to save His people from their sins. He fought and won the battle and He now offers us forgiveness of sin.
How sad it is then that so many people today want to be saved from everything else except the very thing for which Christ died – namely sin. Have you noticed this? People want to be saved from diseases, financial woes, marital difficulties, etc, but they don’t want to be saved from sin. They are happy to have Christ and all the benefits He brings only if they can keep their sins with them. As a result, many preachers have capitulated to this – and they only tell people what they want to hear. Someone has said this concerning the church in our day: “Churches are full of the nicest, kindest people who have never known the despair of guilt or the breathless wonder of being forgiven.” But Christ will not have it that way. He wants to deal with our sin in order that we may be made right with and before our Holy God. We must follow Him.
May the LORD raise up a generation of faithful gospel preachers who will preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, in order that they may present everyone mature in Christ (see Colossians 1:28).