Sunday, September 7, 2008

The ABCs of Christianity

"To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior."
- (Titus 1:4 NKJV)

Whenever we refer to the ABCs of something, we're talking about the basics. Blocking and tackling are the ABCs of football. Counting and adding are the ABCs of mathematics. Kicking and treading are the ABCs of swimming.

What about Christianity? What represents the basics of our faith? The ABCs of Christianity are grace, mercy, and peace.

Grace. Without grace there wouldn't be a Christian faith. Simply stated, grace is God's favor toward the undeserving. It's when we get what we don't deserve. God has purposed to treat us above and beyond what we could ever earn or deserve, and His grace is the key that unlocks every heavenly blessing bestowed on our lives.

Mercy. Although similar to grace, mercy speaks of God withholding the punishment we have earned as members of the rebellious human race. Because we're all descended from a sinner (Adam), we each have a sinful nature that requires judgment. Mercy is the means of escaping that judgment. Grace is getting what we don't deserve, and mercy is not getting what we do deserve.

Peace. The world defines peace as the absence of conflict. Any nation not at war is said to be at peace. God's peace is much more than a lack of conflict; it's a deep-seated sense that all is well in life because everything falls under the perfect control of our gracious and merciful God. His peace allows us to move through life without the friction that could burn us out.

So how do we apply this to our lives? We, along with Titus, need to have our hearts well-schooled when it comes to the ABCs of Christianity.

What are the ABCs of Christianity?

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