Monday, June 10, 2024

June 9 Sermon and Announcements


June 9, 2024

What is Christianity?

I Corinthians 1:21-30

I do not know how many of us have really asked that question. This

question is not like asking, “What is a Brethren, Baptist, Methodist,

Lutheran or Catholic or even what is Christian? Each denomination has

specific things, specific reasons they began. Each of the denominations

or each independent church has one or more doctrines of portions of

the Bible they have felt is important to emphasize. Maybe at a time in

history denominations formed because some Christians did not believe

something in the Bible was getting enough emphasis.

In some ways, it may be easy to say what a Brethren is, but what about

what is Christianity is? All those different denominations that I

mentioned and hundreds of others I pray have a common reason for

existing. Christianity. But once again, I ask you to consider, what is

Christianity? This question is different than the question, what is a


As you continue to consider the question, I would like to share some

definitions that I ran across.

1) The religion based on the person and teaching of Jesus of

Nazareth or its beliefs and practices.

2) Webster dictionary says, “The religion derived from Jesus Christ

based on the Bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern

Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant bodies.”

These are two of the definitions you can fine online. However, do they

really tell the full story of what Christianity is? I was led to the message,

this question by reading the Billy Graham devotional Cathy and I are

using this year. It has led to several of the messages I have shared with

you this year. On this occasion, the particular devotion had nothing

really to do with this question and yet it, to me, has everything to do

with the question, “What is Christianity?” On the particular day that led

to this question, Billy Graham was talking to one of his associates after

an evening service. Billy was disappointed by how few came forward at

the end of the service and he wondered why. His associate told him,

“Your message did not talk about the blood of Jesus.” From that night

on, every message had some mention of the cleansing blood of Jesus

for the rest of his ministry. That is what led we to ask myself, “What is

Christianity?” What is it that makes the Christian faith so different, so

life changing. So, I began to think of what Christianity truly is. Can it be

defined? I thought what the key elements to Christianity that virtually

all of the denominations I mentioned earlier agree on. This is what I

came up with.

1) Christianity is not a religion. I disagree with the earlier definitions

that call Christianity a religion. Religions require strict following of

every rule that has been established for its’ followers to hopefully

appease its God. Christianity is a personal relationship that is

available through Jesus Christ, our risen Savior, who is alive and

seated at the right hand of God the Father. Romans 8:3-4.

2) So, at the heart of Christianity is accepting Jesus as our Savior and

Lord. This happens when we put our faith and trust in Him. Faith

and trust in the fact that we are sinners and Jesus’ death paid the

price for our sins. As a result, our sins are forgiven.

3) The forgiveness we can receive is not based on how many rules

and laws we keep; it is based on our admitting we have broken

God’s rules, God’s laws and yet Jesus paid the price for our sins on

the cross. We are saved by God’s grace for we are all sinners.

Does that mean we have the green light to sin as often and in as

many ways as we want? Of course not. Romans 6:1-2.

4) The fourth key of Christianity is that God is three persons, yet one

– the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As Christians and as

Christianity becomes real is our lives, the Holy Spirit gives us the

power to sin less and less and the power to honor God in more

and more ways.

So what is Christianity? I believe at the heart of the answer to this

question is the first verse of a hymn we have sung at Easter for all of

our lives.


I serve a risen Savior; He is in the world today.

I know that He is living, whatever men may say.

I see His hand of mercy; I hear His voice of cheer.

And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today.

He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.

He lives! He Lives!

Salvation to impart.

You ask me how I know He lives,

He lives within my heart.

That is Christianity. That is why I am a Christian.

Pastor Larry


Sunday School 9:00

Tuesday 9:30 Bible Study

Thank you to all who helped in any way to make our annual

Strawberry Festival a success!

Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362

Donation Box for June: VBS

First Sundays: Food Bank donations

Keep in Your Prayers

Lola Mogged; Ruth Siburt; Missie Wright; Steve Needham; Mike Roach; Shirley

Clarkson; Ava; Nora Hanaver; David and Jan Bower; Larry Traxler;

Randy and Michelle West; Mike Gentry; Eli Brunner; Nancy Fansler;

Doug Larrick; Ron and Kathleen Petersen; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea

Wood; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Mayo and

Darlene Hanaver; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken

requests; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; shut-ins; the

Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren; Ukraine; Israel, Iran, the

Palestinians; Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Freeport congregation and for

all the youth and for the youth ministries in the District.

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