Reconciliation: The Meaning of Christianity (Primer 1)

All Biblical quotations from the English Standard Version translation unless otherwise noted.

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

The suggestion of Christ? Not the suggestion, but the *law* of Christ.

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27)

Religion that is pure and undefiled before the Father is this: to believe the right things? No. To visit the marginalized in their pain. To be a suffering servant–a Christ–to someone else, “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11)

“For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:19-25)

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:3)

“If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” (1 John 2:29)

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

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