Tuesday, November 20

What makes a Christian different than anybody else?

Faithvine has a contest, asking writers to submit their article about this question. Below is my entry. I do not know if it will win any accolades. But I submit it for your review.

Just one thing and one thing only, makes a Christian different.

Depending upon who you asked, you would get several varying answers to the question, "What makes a Christian different from anybody else?" They would fan the wide range of opinion, from reactionistic to nothing different. But everyone has an opinion.

I would say you can sum up the difference in a Christian through one word and one word only. Anything else falls ultimately down upon this one thing, an expression—a perceived thing that is as real and vibrant as it is unseeable. It is what everything else, I feel, Christianity claims is based on. One word that spans so many cultures and generations, indeed, the very fabric of history and is such a vital part of our society. The absence of it causes nations to fall and economies to collapse.


It is this that makes Christians different from everyone else. And it shows clearly in the lives, words, and deeds of those who would claim the eternal hope of salvation. Hebrews 6:11(NKJV), "And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end." It is that assurance, no matter what the unforeseen future holds for those who believe, that allows the Christian to move despite fear and troubled times.

In today's society, where nothing is for granted and everything is subjected to interpretation and self valuation, this factor of hope is beyond the Christian's personal truth and gives anchor during the storms of life in the foundational truth that is beyond human comprehension. Hebrews 6:19 (NKJV) talks of the hope…."This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast."

It is the hope of being something more than our sinful, broken bodies can be in this world of fallen creation that makes a Christian different than anybody else. Galatians 5:5(NKJV) states, "For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." To attain something that we, as humanity, had but surrendered; lost and cannot recover on our own merit; that is what makes a believer different, the promise of righteousness hoped for and Eden regained.

There are a host of self-help books upon the shelves of bookstores throughout the land, selling the one thing that humanity as a whole, regardless of race, creed, or culture, is seeking. How to restore what each one of us feel inside of us is missing, lost within the pages and dim views of the past. Why are we here? What is our purpose?

We react violently as a people to scientific theories that we are an accidental reaction to a mindless, soulless universe that is just set up so to sustain this chance mistake. We seek our purpose in family history, national awareness, and in our hearts. And we find that everything in the world, in this creation gone mad, is worthless when we come to the end of things and die. No treasures found, no wealth stored, can cheat the Grim Reaper from his collection. Or, so the worldly secularist would have us believe and deny within our souls of its lie.

A little under 2,000 years ago, a man came upon the scene of the world stage, centered in an area called Galilee. He claimed to have the answer to the soul's cry and he demonstrated power that was uncommonly common in the world at the time. But he stepped beyond the reality of physical hope, which is what a majority of his own countrymen thought he represented, and established the eternal hope that has sustained His followers since; defeating death. To become the hope of salvation to a world even, as yet, unborn. To pay a price no man could pay and therefore give us the ability to reclaim what was lost and unattainable.


That is why the Christian can say, "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11 (ESV)"

That is what makes a Christian different.

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