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Christianity: A Religion Or A 'Way Of Life'?

I have always seen - like many people - christianity as a religion,but of recent i have been hearing some people say that it is not a religion,but rather a way of life.

What does that mean exactly?Why is christianity,suddenly is no longer a religion?

Can somebody expansiate a bit more for us on this?

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33 answers

I always believe, "My religion is my way of life".

Because it comes from God to us. God had create all of us & also the universe. God also gave the religion to us as the straight way to do.

I don't agree if someone say that religion is worship that just applied in the church, mosque, temple, or other worship places commonly. I believe that every kindness we do has the worth of worship. So you can do it everywhere because God always together with us. So why we still doubt that our religion is also our way of life?

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Christianity which is the completion of Judaism is a LOVE relationship with Elohim, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. This love(Ahava) relationship has no limits, cannot be fully explained and understood by humans minds and is a covenant-type relationship in which Elohim says you are Mine and I Am yours, You are My people and I Am your God. This Ahava relationship can be seen for example in Yeshua dieing on the Cross of Calvary for our salvation although we don't deserve it. This is just one of the ways in which Elohim expresses His LOVE for us. HANUKKAH is coming soon, GET READY.

Ahava Yeshua.

@ jeffolala

Yes its special and is a gathering of the choosen.

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Christianity is NOT a religion but a way of LIFE. Christ in you the hope of Glory

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Every religion is a way of life for its most faithful adherents. Christianity and Islam are not exceptions.

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It all started from Ishmael and Isaac now its Christianity and Islam, can anyone figure this out? is Islam a religion of violence and jihad? does islam assure any one salvation and inner peace? really think about it does any one get healed in islam? or is it just another heretic society,

The Holy Spirit gave me a message (which i'm very happy Pastors around the world are sounding the message) that Christianity is not a religion, its a way of LIFE, (you should know whats religion when you hear of Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism e.t.c)

Please get it to your head, its not all about going to church on sundays and fellowships then the rest days are used for indulgence in worldly matters, we are in the world but not of the world, If you are still viewing it as a religion i want you to change because once Jesus Christ enters your life all you can ever think of is the Kingdom of God and what you can do for humanity.

(The bird picture is not the Holy Ghost, its my depiction of God's peace)

Think about it!

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@xkape,

We learn everyday.

I don't have all the answers, but I see your point. True talk, that religion (in the sense of works - good or bad) does not save anyone. Faith in Jesus Christ guarantees salvation; and the saved demonstrate the reality of their faith by good works.

Enjoy.

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@xkape,

I think what mlks_baby said are quite in order. When you carefully read James 1:27, Christianity was already in existence when he penned that verse. And there's no other faith or religion alluded to in that verse than Christianity. Think about it: what is pure and acceptable before the Father if it falls short of the glory of God, regardless the motive? And who was James addressing - Christians or others? Are you saying that in spite of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, other religious activities are 'pure and undefiled' as well before God and the Father according to that verse in James?

"All the other paraphenelia like places of worship, garments of worship, objects of reverence and so on are irrelevant in the end."

Agreed. However, I don't see what you're disagreeing about in previous posts.

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Yeah, i like ur summary of christianity, m'baby.

As long as christ is ur focus, cos truly without CHRIST, I Am Nothing.

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l appreciate ur contribute and l hv learnt a lot from ur post.

Personally, l don't see christianity as a religion, religion is from the word religious that is doing thing in accordance to a set rules. For example u must pray at a particular time, u must at a certain place to prayer, the worhip building must be built in this direction etc. And that was whyJesus told the samaritian women that very soon pple will not worshipping God at the mountain again, but those that must worship God must will him in spirit and in truth.

and l also believe in the guy that say it is a state of existence.because when u come to christ everything about u changes, ur citizenship,UR PASSWORD, ur password,ur license, ur account . u become a small g GOD and u fellowship with God, u live like christ. ur password become ' what will Jesus do" wwjd. It is a way of life because christ came to show us the way back to the kingdom and that is why is his the truth, the way and the life no one cometh to the father except thru him

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Hi

Christianity is not a religion , it is the life of CHRIST in you,Christianity is Divinity at work in Humanity , a lot of time many thinks it is something that is made to make one hjappy , Chtristianity is GOD at work in you, it is not a way of life, it is not a life style, it is a special life, if you truely believe there is a GOD.

Christianity is at work in you

Please read Romans 8,19-30

The Bible clearly declare "CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY" Therefore Christianity could not have been a way of life, it is the life of CHRIST in you. the CHRIST life in you.

We have the Grace of GOD upon our lives , when we grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, the CHRIST life is manifested in you.i.e you live your life the CHRIST way.

Grace is the revelation of the beauty of GOD in your life, the expression of Divinity and that life of CHRIST is in you, thats why the Bible says "we should grow in Grace", in other words, let GOD be Continually Manifested in your LIFE.

When you are Born-Again and confess JESUS CHRIST as your LORD and SAVIOUR , that Life of CHRIST is at Work in you.

and that life is not subject to :

Sickness, poverty, lack etc, it a Christian Life, a life of Sucess, Divine Health , Prosperity .

Thank GOD i'm a Christian.

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Personally,I think Christianity is much more than a religion.Religion simply means the ways man look or search for God.Classifying Christianity as a religion means bunching Christianity together with others like Islam,Hinduism,Traditional Religion,Animism etc.

On the other hand,terming Christianity as a way of life is putting it mildly.Christianity simply put,is the pulsating life of God tabernacled in a human body.Now, I'm talking practical Christianity and not just "church-going". Christianity means God's hand of fellowship extended to man.In Christianity,God has found man.Man is no longer looking for Him in the dark.That is religion.

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Hi

Christianity is not a religion , it is the life of CHRIST in you,Christianity is Divinity at work in Humanity , a lot of time many thinks it is something that is made to make one hjappy , Chtristianity is GOD at work in you, it is not a way of life, it is not a life style, it is a special life, if you truely believe there is a GOD.

Christianity is at work in you

Please read Romans 8,19-30

The Bible clearly declare "CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY" Therefore Christianity could not have been a way of life, it is the life of CHRIST in you. the CHRIST life in you.

We have the Grace of GOD upon our lives , when we grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, the CHRIST life is manifested in you.i.e you live your life the CHRIST way.

Grace is the revelation of the beauty of GOD in your life, the expression of Divinity and that life of CHRIST is in you, thats why the Bible says "we should grow in Grace", in other words, let GOD be Continually Manifested in your LIFE.

When you are Born-Again and confess JESUS CHRIST as your LORD and SAVIOUR , that Life of CHRIST is at Work in you.

and that life is not subject to :

Sickness, poverty, lack etc, it a Christian Life, a life of Sucess, Divine Health , Prosperity .

Thank GOD i'm a Christian.

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>>>this Swedish babe [my friend] is beginning to like Nigerians! she's asking me if I'd like to visit Nigeria this summer so that she could come along. Imagine!!<<<

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well spoken milks_baby.

but

I believe a child in a home with "responsible parents" is not allowed to do all, exactly/solely as he/she pleases, first for his own benefit, and for the family. Yes, they, parents must have laid dowm some laws(dont do this, that is not good for you), no matter how subtle or harsh. Was/Is it then a religion to obey one's parents. But wasnt/isnt there a relationship( even with all their laws) within parents and children? I obeyed my parents not because of any repercussions, but coz, i loved and appreciated them. Thats relationship, not religion. Now, If I obey them out of fear, coz i know my dad might throw me out of the house if i sniffed, thats religion. Apply the same scenario to the Bible, God and Man.

God wants to have a relationship of Love, with Man. Yes, God says man should serve, worship, adore, Him, and usually man equates service and religion. Usually, "Love" isnt in the picture of our service, or whatever we render to God, which makes it all = works, now, thats where many people miss it.

To those who went to school in Nigeria, the "school uniform idea", wasnt it a "law", if you would call a spade a spade? Whether you call it law/rule/principle/guideline. Going to school wasnt definitely a religion, was it?

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Christianity is indeed a religion, the religion we subscribe to has a massive impact on our way life. All religions have different rules,core believes that sets them apart from everyone.The environment we find ourselves i.e culture,race economy has more influence on us than core religious believes.

A born again Russian,Nigerian or American would have totally different views of the same situation, though they all share the same core believes.

Christianity,Islam,Judaims and even Atheist believes all affect the Way Of Life of people who subscribe to it

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CHRISTIANITY IS ALL ABOUT A KING AND HIS KIDS

Christianity is a kingdom the kingdom of God we are the children in the kingdom.

Christ is our king on earth because God rules the heavens and the earth.

If you wish to receive anything from the kingdom you must keep the law of the kingdom.

We, as children of the kingdom are kings and queen because Christ is king of kings and lord of lords,

God gives his domain to those who keep his laws the bible because they are the children to take possession and become kings to have dominion over his domain the earth.

If you are not keeping the law of the kingdom you are not entitle to anything in the earth.

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a religion is a way of life.

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As long as that imitation involves an open discussion, you cannot entirely deny that Christianity is a religion. Let me say it is a religious way of life, regardless what some of us might think to the contrary and try to over-spiritualise the term. At least, James 1:27 shows clearly that God accepts our way of life in a certain religious sense, because there's no way a person can address God as 'Father' if he/she is not a Christian: and in that verse, the activities mentioned are together called "pure and undefiled religion".

We don't like some terms today because they seem to have been bastardised in some circles: religion, crusade, gay, and lots more. A few decades back, it was perfectly normal to understand someone being happy or cheerful when he/she exclaims: "Wow! She's so gay - her boyfriend just made his A' Levels!" Or, when a Christian evangelistic programme is advertised as a "crusade" today, in political circles it might mean something else; but it's a crusade all the same.

As Christians, we see our faith as a relationship with God by faith in Jesus Christ. Try explicating the word "relationship" to someone who sees that as suggesting what it does not; would we then turn around again and say that Christianity is not a "relationship" and then look for another word to describe it?

Christianity is both a religion and a way of life - at best it is a religious way of life as long as we connect and communicate with non-religious folks.

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@4get_me. I have already answered the question you asked.

Christianity is basically having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Which comes from immitating his ways, the way he lived his life, his teachings and many more.

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Christiniaty should also be a way of life

But most people are just christians by religion

so sad

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Religion is a way of life . Be it christianity, islam, hindu, buddah.

It is your faith, belief and creed even though sometimes it tends to be dogmatic, and you are not allowed to ask questions or question some things / doctrines of a religion.

But basically it depends on how you want to live your life.

So the choice is yours to make. You want to be for good or evil, free or in bondage? At least we all have a mind or conscience and the five senses especially the hearing ,so he who has ears let him hear.But of utmost importance it is to use our mind,(brain), conscience and decipher certain things for ourself. But always look out for the positive and ask why was life,(even without the modern technology) so much more peaceful and calm for our forefathers and why did they live much longer?

Maybe some of the things we are quick to condemn could go a long way positively in the lives of people.

Think Again.

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pastor Chris oyakhilome is  wise ,  wisdom is only given by god.

what is wisdom for?,

it is the most weapon to solve a problem questions, deceasese, distresse salvation, etc

wisdom is the ability to solve a problem instantly not tommorrow  or another hour to come but instantly

this was shown to king solSolomon well demonstrated by Christ|_so the only thing , wisdom is expressed to the devil,  when they come with the desire to shame you

pastor Chris, well as other apostles in the bible  should be coated. lord Jesus thank  u and i even when praying to say in the name of Jesus preached by peter, Paul and Chris

i tell you take some minutes and look at love world  atmosphere of miracles or teachings,

I LIKE THE INTERVIEW OF PASTOR CHRIS, , BECAUSE WE UNDERSTAND JESUS MORE  IN ALL HIS TEACHINGS  Because of SOME INTERVIEWS AND QUESTIONS GIVEN TO HIM BY THE PHARISEES AND CHIEF PRIESTS.

THIS FRICTION MAKES US TO SEE GOD'S DEMONSTRATION AND TO SEE HIS EXISTANCEEXISTENCESTER CHRIS GOD BLESS YOU

I ALWAYS PRAY FOR YOU  FOR YOU HAVE CHANGED THE LIVES OF MANY IN THE WORLD,  THROUGH  THE PREACHING OF THE TRUTH  AND TO MAKE US REALAY BELIEVE CHTIST IS LORD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT EXIT AND IT'S  TRUE AND IT'S TOUCHABLE.

JESUS SAID TO THOMAS YOU DO NOT BELEIVE BUT BELESSED ARE THOSE WHO WIL;L BELIEVE WITHOUT SEENG

AND HAVE FAITH.

YOURS IN CHRIST

de CUBA,MARTIN W

LONDON,UK

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Christianity is both a way of life and a religion - depending on who is defining what and for what purpose.

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word up wellborn

word up 4get_me

word up y'all

just to add more sugar to the tea,

the word christian:

C H R I S T I A N

take away the: C

take away the: H

take away the: R

take away the: I

take away the: S

take away the: T

remaining three letters: I, A and N,

and after anyone think he/she has take CHRIST away,

remember:

WITHOUT CHRIST, I AM NOTHING

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Islam is also a way of life, in case you haven't noticed.

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Great response from those who have spelt things out (kimba that was wonderful)and may I add that christianity may only be a definition or a decsription of the way of life of the people who followed the Christ.The first time people were called Christians in the boopk of acts, it was through the observation of their way of life.They did not have aT shirt saying 'We are the Christians in Jerusalem'. It was there -lets use the word-their way of life.

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If Christianity is partly a way of life, what is the other part called? No harm meant, but would like to make this contribution.

Everyone's posts are classic, and I agree with owo's assessment of the first two (welborn's and kimba's) - they tell the whole story, both from scholarly and experiential perspectives. Some may disagree with the idea of Christianity being called a religion; some may not - at the end of the day, it all depends on who is defining what and for what purpose.

For some of us who define it more as "a way of life" than a religion, what is/are the criteria used? If Christianity is a "way", then there are other "ways" out there that are legitimately called whatever we want to call Christianity. Even the Bible says that there is "a way" that seems right to a man but the end thereof is destruction. Jesus presents us with two "ways" - the broad way and narrow way (see Matt. 7:13-14) - you choose which way you define for yourself. Let's put all the semantics aside and be objective as to the topic.

It is not easy to define the term religion, and I just love the concise one given by welborn, and elucidated by exu's reference to Willian Alston. Biases apart, does Christianity not have a religious side to it? Or, does Wm. Alston's characteristics of religion exclude Christianity? Again, when James 1:27 speaks of religion in the positive sense ('pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father)', was he excluding Christianity? I don't think so, unless we want to say that Christianity does not qualify as 'pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father.'

The point is that, from the Biblical point of reference, Christianity is both a religion and a lifestyle (or, 'way of life'). As a religion, it is a response to a set of core beliefs found in the Bible. As a lifestyle, it is a relationship believers have with God as Father through faith in His Son Jesus Christ expressed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As jagunlabi has eruditely pointed out, following Wm. Alston's outline, there are a set of questions to be answered by us Christians -

 - does Christianity not believe in the supernatural God whom we call Father?

 - does Christianity not distinguish between sacredness and profanity?

 - does Christianity not have acts (not 'ritualistic') focused on sacredness?

 - does Christianity not have a moral code given to us by God?

 - does Christianity not have experiences of spiritual and supernatural 'feelings'?

 - does Christianity not have prayer as one of its central activities?

 - does Christianity not have a worldview as a whole and the place of the individual therein?

 - does Christianity not have disciplined lifestyle based on the worldview of what the Bible teaches?

 - does Christianity not have 'group gatherings' we call church bound together by all the above?

However anyone cuts the cookie, there's no denying the fact that Christianity has a religious aspect to it, and the protests against this is simply a matter of semantics. You cannot deny the fact that in social and cultural contexts, Christianity is discussed as a religious worldview. This is not to gainsay or ignore its spiritual implications.

When Paul used the term 'religion' in speaking of Judaism (Acts 26:5), he did not use it in a disparaging or pejorative sense; otherwise when we label Christianity exclusively as a relationship with God (as if it was the only relationship there is with God), I think we should be fair enough to accept that Judaism was/is a relationship with God as well, albeit on different terms. Moses had declared to the Israelites, "Ye are the children of the LORD your God" (Deut. 14:1); and along the line the prophet Isaiah declared that God was their Father - "Thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting. . . But now, O LORD, thou art our father" (Isa. 63:16 & 64:8 ). The divine Fatherhood of God is not just a NT doctrine about people having a relationship with God - it was there all along in the OT. The difference is in how we approach God as our Father through Jesus Christ today; it is not a ritualistic code of ethics anymore as in the OT, but it is a new and living way by faith in God's Son (Heb. 10:20).

Whether we like it or not, there is a legitimate religious aspect to Christianity as well as a relational aspect. It all depends on who is defining what and for what purpose. If religion is a set of [b]r[/b]igid [b]r[/b]itualistic [b]r[/b]ules (R3) to follow, then Christianity is certainly not a religion in that sense; neither is Christianity 'a way of life' without obedience to God's Word. Much as we hate the word 'tradition', Paul used it in both a negative (Col.2:8 ) and a positive sense (II Thes. 2:15). Yes, there is such a thing as 'Christian tradition' and people commonly use the term in speaking of a set of ethics that Christians follow. Denying this would mean that we are ignoring the Bible.

I believe the question of the topic is a very valid one to enable us reconsider how we've always viewed our faith. The contributions so far have been interesting and inspiring; and we should be candid enough to acknowledge that Christianity has both aspects to it.

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People who spoke before me have said it all but i still want to let you(jagunlabi &everyone interested) know that you can classify Christianity wherever you chose to classify it that is your own issue.

The actual fact is that the name"Christian" was given to the apostles by pharisees as a mockery because they were acting/behaving like Christ.

If you really know what the word "Christian" means you will agree with me that it is "(Behaving)like Christ".So to be a Christian,you must behave like Christ and to behave like Christ,you must have Christ in you.

Yea because there are other denomination of people who have there own beliefs,and putting every belief under one umbrella(name) the name "religion" came up(i guess)

So Christianity is more "a way of life" than it is a religion.

Thank you.

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@everyone. Christianity is not a religion but its partly a way of life. Christianity is basically having a relationship with christ and to immitate his ways.

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Hi Jagunlabi,

I think your thread has been well served by the responses thus far. I hope they have helped.

There's been a high level, objective response, a detailed, personal one, and a summary post. Quite comprehensive coverage and in a few responses.

I think even the way the question was framed gives the word/term "religion" a pejorative tone. And I'd agree with that. Religion as rite, ritual and obligation is definitely what Christianity is not. What it is is a relationship with God The Father, being transformed into the likeness The Son, by the power of The Holy Spirit.

That which is characterised by temples, mediatory priesthoods, physical sacrifices and other outward things is mere religion. And yes there is something like that which calls itself "Christian". Personally, I don't subscribe to that and for the purpose of this thread, have the following to say about it;

1. I don't believe that that expression is in it's essence different from any other "religion".

2. They are real "Christians" and seekers of truth in those modes of expression.

So sir, where you at? We have had opportunity to participate in a few threads together and I get a sense of someone who wants truth and is earnestly enquiring. I won't ask if you are disillusioned, doubting or just plain disbelieving, but I will encourage you to keep on seeking.

I discovered that if you go looking for the truth of God in Christ Jesus, no matter how clumsily you go about it, the Truth will find you.

God bless

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Kimba's personal experiences and wellborn's definitions really tell the story as it is.

In addition, not many things point to Christianity as a 'way of life', relationship and fellowship (as opposed to religion) as much as the fact that adherents are basically propelled by LOVE.

To the committed/converted:

The Bible - is the Father's love letter to be read and savored with all delight

Obedience - is keeping in step with the one you love

Prayer - is talking with your best/greatest friend

There is always that urge to be near or around His presence.

This is aptly captured by the text

"And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with

all thy strength: this is the first commandment." (Mark 12:29-30) (emphasis mine)

Even at the end of time, God's gifts are for those that love His appearing

"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing"2 Timothy 4:8

Religious living is clearly in contrast with this type of life. In religion;

1. You are 'right' as long as you take the prescribed action (irrespective of what is in your heart)

2. You are 'rewarded' for taking the action (even if you did not want to do it)

3. There is no personal relationship with 'GOD' .

In reality, the religious angle of the living Christian faith is infinitesimal. Immediately a person gets into the experience of real Christan living, he finds out that the word, 'religion' is, certainly, not a fitting description of his lifestyle.

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Let me rather give my own testimony:

Christianity to me was a religion when:

1) Everything I did was out of compulsion, because i really wanted to have my own way, but time and chance did not permit, and secretly i was waiting for when ill turn 18. The hardest thing in my whole life was to obey my parents, say im sorry, to close my eyes in prayer was the next abomination, i was just plain adamant, i resisted everything about God and good. Twas as if I should go live on my own planet. What i was interested in was all disorderliness, a rough lifestyle, causing trouble and disrupting the peace. I even wanted to join the army so i could beat up somebody.

2) Deep-down within me I didnt want to go to Church, I had to make daddy happy with his little boy, so I went. As I sat down, faking sobriety and concentration, I mocked at all the pastor had to say. I was a time-keeper, watching the minutes slowly passing by, waiting for the closing prayer. I never heard what was said.

3) Prayer and Bible reading was a task on my time-table, twas a mere routine.

4) I had thought i was serving the pastor by going to church. In fact, i thought i didnt need to read the Bible, that I didnt need God, i thought i knew everything. I usually felt very bad whenever i ticked 'Christian" on a form or some document. I felt Christians were wasting their time, worse, I thought i was wasting mine with theirs.

Christanity became a way of life when, I gave my life completely to Jesus.

I prayed a simple prayer of forgiveness, led by the Pastor in Church, out of compulsion, and I thought that would be it. But something happened, I will never forget, twas like a huge burden lifted off me. I was saved. My past forgiven and forgotten, twas like the Sun just arose, I began to see changes in me. I had a new beginning.I shook myself to my former past preconcieved reality - behold twas gone. Before then, i never smiled, but now, im always smiling. Suddenly, i began introducing myself as a CHristian first before i said what my name was. Nobody said i should. I began comparing my words, thoughts, deeds, everything I deed with what the Bible said, what God wants, what God would have expected me to do. Gods word became a ruler I used to measure my lifestyle. I read the Bible without been compelled, and things that never made meaning to me suddenly became glaringly clear, and i began to wonder "what has been happening to me all along?" Things that confused me in the Bible became crystal clear, as I read one passage, the other explained itself, Now, before I take decisions, i would rather weigh everything by the light of the scriptures. Now, i find it easy to tell the truth, and things i had found to be next to impossible now became easy. To say a genuine sorry is so easy. Doing things that please God now became my daily assignment, that rather than please man, i would put my God first. Now, i have Faith in God, though before I never trusted anybody. Its now easy to pray and expect immediate answers, i mean immediate. My Bible is now my daily companion, what else could i ask for if God is always by my side.

Christ purpose was to pass his lifstyle on to His 12-disciples who would then influence others by it, and so on, and so on. But man naturally likes to make easy things hard, so at the end of the day after struggling up and down, he'll feel he has acheived a feat. Jesus said:

John 15:

v12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Imagine Jesus calling us Friends!! what could be more than that, If we say literally, hes a son to God the Father, and he calls us Friends, then its like we are on the same level, and we can call God our Father, making us heirs of the Kingdom. THe best of all things is that God is with us.

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