Is Your Faith and Practice Apostolic (and Thus “Christian)?”
“Christianity” is not only a religion (and it is that certainly!) but it is specifically a trust in God through Jesus Christ which works out in the whole being of a person (Faith and Practice). The understanding of what to believe (the object of faith) is found in the New Testament Scriptures, and is based on prophecy, promises and teachings from the Old (Luke 24:27). The way of practicing that faith is largely found in the Acts, and the Epistles (wherein the Apostles give us “the mind of Christ” with commands, principles, guidelines and even the examples of the Apostles).
So, is the life I have that I call “Christianity,” formed by the Scriptures ( properly understood) as an attempt to continue the faith and practice handed down from the Apostles? Or is it phenomenally influenced by or even specifically founded in the thoughts, writings, visions, (or whatever) of someone else?
If one’s belief and practice is founded in the writings, visions, thoughts of someone else since the Apostles, why would I trust that person–those people? Paul was deeply concerned for the church of Corinth in that they are in danger of straying from the Good News (faith and practice) he brought to them. His concern is expressed throughout both Epistles, but is clear in 1 Cor 2:1-5. Are you putting faith in the “power of God” or in something dreamed up (often quite literally these days) by a non-chosen, non-Apostolic, non-messenger of God?
Thinking of the some of the themes from:
Colossians 2:18-19 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. NASB95
Also in terms of the force which Apostolic teaching must have:
1 Corinthians 11:1-2 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.
1 Corinthians 11:16 16 But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
1 Thessalonians 4:1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.
1 Corinthians 11:23 23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you,
1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.