What Christianity Does

James Boyd

Should a salesman come to you with a product that was new to you and asked you to buy it, there are several things you would want to know about it. From where did it come? Who made it? How much does it cost? But mostly you would want to know, what does it do? What good is it? What need or desire does it fill? What benefit does it produce?

Many are asking similar questions about the faith of Christ. There may have been a time when most accepted the fact that the faith of Christ was beneficial, but that is not always true today. Enemies of the Lord have done much to sow distrust concerning Christianity. How would you even define Christianity to the non-Christian? We might want to define it much like we define electricity; that is, in terms of what it does. The World Book Encyclopedia defines electricity this way. “We know what it is by what it does.” We can define Christianity the same way.

In our day of the cynic, skeptic, and growing irreligious attitudes, Christianity is often scorned, cast aside, ridiculed, left untried and repudiated, even said to be without value and useless in our day as something irrelevant to out needs. It is said we need something up-to-date, new and modern because we are in the “post-Christian” age. There are reasons why many are reacting to the way of Christ in this negative fashion.

The influence of secularism, humanism, communism, materialism and the confusion of denominationalism have all contributed to this resentful attitude toward Christianity. The ignorance and evil influence of the world places emphasis on man, self, the physical side of life to the neglect and denial of the spirit of man. The frustrations of the sinful world have overcome many and led them to atheism. The church has not adequately conveyed to the world the real nature and benefit of New Testament Christianity.

It may be while we have properly emphasized the faith of Christ in terms of its origin, its Founder, its early history, its doctrine, its costs, we have neglected to tell people what it does and therefore they really have not been informed regarding its essential value. Many who profess to be Christians so live as to detract from Christianity and actually repel others, not showing anything particularly distinctive and beneficial in their lives for being a professed follower of Christ. When the Christian shows it has not done very much for him in living a godly life, how can you expect the non-Christian to be impressed? It is a worthy thought, “If you were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

A "Doing" Religion

 The Bible makes two points very clear about the faith or religion of Christ. (1) It is a doing religion (Matthew 7:21; James 1:22; Acts 1:1).As Jesus both taught and did, we are to follow His steps (First Peter 2:21).(2) Christians are different because of what they do and what they refrain from doing. They are a peculiar, distinctive people because of their manner of life and relationship to God (Titus 2:14; Galatians 6:10; James 4:17). They learn to abhor evil, abstain from it, and hold fast to the good (First Thessalonians 5:21,22).Though in the world, they are not of the world (Romans 12:1,2; First John 2:15).

Let us consider a few things Christianity, when believed and obeyed, will do for mankind. Let us see the need it fills and recognize how essential to our welfare the faith of Christ is.


First, it is the only faith that fills the greatest need mankind has and that is salvation from sin. This is true whether anyone realizes it or not. Its truthfulness is not dependent upon its acceptance. In a day when there is much emphasis on social reform, social revolution, social concern and change, most have overlooked this greatest contribution of Christ. We all sin (Romans 3:23; 5:12), and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). We cannot redeem ourselves by ourselves and must have a Savior. There is only one Savior and that is Christ (Acts 4: 12; John 8:32; 14:6).Meeting or failing to meet this need determines our eternal destiny. Is it not strange that this greatest need of mankind is usually placed on the back shelf even as people grope in darkness and confusion, failing to realize that being free from sin is the first step in overcoming those things that threaten, harass and destroy mankind? At the root of man's ills is his spiritual poverty.

Should a person conquer the world, solve his physical problems, and not save his soul, he has failed. “What shall it profit…?”(Mark 8:36). While the Word of God is his lamp and guide (Psalm 119:105), if he shuns it, he cannot solve his problems. He has not the capacity to direct his own steps properly (Jeremiah 10:23), and he will only deceive himself into thinking a way is right when it is wrong (Proverbs 14:12).“Thou hast the words of eternal life,” Peter said of Christ in John 6:66-69. There is no other to whom we can go.

In This Life

But the contribution of the faith of Christ is not confined to the benefits in the next life exclusive of this one. Should one ever think the Word of God is irrelevant, he should consider the host of blessings derived from it as listed in the longest chapter of the Bible, Psalm 119. Some say that Paul never preached to a nuclear scientist or a space age person. What if he did not? Man's spiritual needs have not changed, nor will they. Man does not need a new and different gospel, but he needs to learn and apply the gospel God gives. Of course, if a person is sick and he is ignorant of or refused to take the curative medicines he has no right to expect benefit. But he does not have the right to denounce the medicine either as if there is no cure. Most are casting Christ away, not knowing what they are refusing, and then accepting counterfeits and distortions that cannot provide what he needs. This is really an unfair approach to Christ.

The faith of Christ deals with one of mankind's most threatening ills and that is the domestic problem concerning the home, marriage, divorce, and the most intimate relationships of life. None who are aware of the realities of our time would deny the magnitude of the problems. What is more needful than for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25), and wives to love their husbands and their children (Titus 2:4)? While not going into depth here for lack of space, we affirm there is no marital problem for which the Word of God does not provide the solution.

There is the issue of rearing children. The parent-child relationship is taught in Scripture. What is more needful than for parents to train their children in God's way (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4), and for children to obey their parents? (Ephesians 6:1).To honor parents is a divine directive and if obeyed, many of the stresses and ills of our time would soon dissipate. Juvenile and adult delinquency is traceable to violations of God's Word in this area of life.

Man to Man

In man's relationship with his fellowman, we are taught to love our neighbor as ourselves. We would seek the other's highest good if we applied God's will. So many seem to think that the “Golden Rule” (Matthew 7:12) has been repealed or never existed. Consider if you will what a beneficial revolution the world would experience if all would bend their efforts to follow even this one teaching!

As nation wars against nation, and the faith of Christ is not a political government, and while self-defense is surely allowed by Scripture both individually and collectively, nations could live in peace one with the other if the citizens thereof would attune their lives, attitudes and ambitions to that which Jesus taught.

Drug addiction, especially the number one drug problem in America, which is alcoholism, has solutions only in the way of Christ. The teaching to not abuse the body and prohibition of the consumption of alcoholic beverages are so relevant and needful today. While some wail and cry over the plight of mankind because of these abuses, they either do not know or will not apply the solutions that the Son of God has authorized. Many are busy applying social “Band-Aids” to these spiritual cancers. But the way of Christ would solve them.

We are confronted with world wide racial strife. But God taught that He is no respecter of persons on that basis (Acts 10:34,35), and there can be no oneness and unity in the human family without Christ (Galatians 3:28) .We are physically brothers (Acts 17:26), but we shall never consider each other as we should until we can dispose of the hatred, prejudice and suspicion we hold against each other. These hideous qualities must be replaced with fairness and respect for human dignity, but that will not occur until we follow the teaching of Christ. While we are not all alike and there is no sin to note our differences, we waste our efforts to remove the enmity between men by marches, riots, suppression, making and breaking laws, nightriders, etc. Such never avails the desired result but the will of Christ in the heart will produce solutions.

God's Remedy

Who can deny that our nation, as well as nations around the world, has been beset with a tidal wave of lawlessness? We are told that one of six youths less than eighteen years of age have a police record. While this seems astoundingly high, we have to be mindful of the crime that sweeps across the human family. We can rightly assign many reasons for this, but only the teaching and obedience to the will of Christ will produce solutions in this area. Capital punishment, which God has ordained governments to use against criminals, is being dismissed, or inconsistently applied, and replaced by a misguided "compassion" for the criminal as opposed to the concern for the victim and potential victims. Christians are taught to obey the laws of the land. “Fear God and honor the king...” (First Peter 2: 17) .Who could suggest this would not improve the quality of human relationships and produce better societies if obeyed?

We see millions of people flooding the mental hospitals, suffering nervous breakdowns, burdened with worry and anxiety, falling beneath the pressures of daily living. Too many are too busy striving for the wind of material gain, following a false value system, attempting to remove guilt without repentance, allowing their consciences to destroy them rather than correcting their sense of values. Solomon teaches that such striving is vanity and vexation of spirit. Seeking God's kingdom and His righteousness is the assurance of provision {Matthew 6:33). What could be more relevant and useful than the solution to these maladies of the mind and life?

Evil Hearts

At the source of man's ills is an evil heart filled with greed, lust, pride, envy, and immorality. The Word teaches the need of a change of heart. Man's life does not consist of his possessions (Luke 12: 15). From the heart comes the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23), so we must be more careful concerning what we think (Proverbs 23:7) .We must let our mind dwell on the good (Philippians 4:8), and set our hearts on things above (Colossians 3:2) .If we would put to death the old man of sin (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22) , and renew the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:23), pride would be replaced with humility, envy replaced by rejoicing with those who rejoice, purity would replace immorality, and giving would displace greed. Who says that the faith of Christ is not beneficial and needful for our day?

When people follow the faith of Christ, if their poverty is caused by their own laziness, they will learn to work because the gospel teaches if one will not work, neither should he eat (Second Thessalonians 3: 10). The rich will learn to share with those who are in need. Money by itself has never and can never win the war against poverty. There are too many spiritual factors involved to leave spiritual values out of consideration of a solution. Talents given and talents used are a part of serving the Lord and one another.

What could be more useful to humanity than the warnings against the pitfalls into which many fall'? Should not the downtrodden be encouraged, brotherly love exhibited, provisions made for family stability and community peace? The gospel of Christ will not only cure the disease of sin, but offers many preventive measures that, when followed, will allow mankind to avoid so much heartache and tragedy that his sins would otherwise bring upon him. Christianity will cause him to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, house the homeless and attend the sick.

The dread blight of hypocrisy is so evident in our world. Not only is there hypocrisy in religion, but also the deceptive pretense is evident in every field of human endeavor. Basic and fundamental honesty is a scarce commodity in society. Sincerity and truth are often lacking in dealings between people. What is more relevant to man's needs than to be able to rely on the integrity of others? Yet, even among many who profess to be Christians there is a near void of plain old-fashioned truth and honor such as God would have all men partake.

The Best Will Rise

Christianity will bring out the best in an individual. When death pursues each one, where else can one find the comfort, hope, consolation and security that the promises of God through Christ offers him? Where else can you find the reason to life and the motivation to live it profitably as God has designed it except in the way of Christ? Where else is there such emphasis on the dignity of human life? What teaches both young and old how to live and how to die? How could anyone question the benefit of the faith of Christ for our world?

Christianity teaches men to have patience in tribulation, and gives him that which he cannot provide for himself. It recreates him in the image of Christ, washing him clean by the Lord's blood and guiding him aright through life. No philosophy, no human theology, no other religion can offer such blessings and fulfill them as the faith of Christ. Every command God gives man is for man's good. No other faith really gives us the reason for being better than that faith that teaches we are created in the image of God. We are here for a purpose and we have a mission to accomplish. We stand accountable before God and we face the judgment to be followed by heaven or hell.

Yes, every realm of human activity that is proper is made even better when one follows Christ. Both history and Scriptures cry this message. His way is the more excellent way because of what it does. It is more glorious when we realize it is exclusively the faith that God approves. We cannot stop wars with mere weapons, or crime with law. Hate will not be conquered with secular knowledge nor love created by legislation. But in Christ all these blessings can be ours.

What does the faith of Christ do? It makes man a real man, not just a highly evolved animal that some contend we are. It makes him fit for association with Deity. Itnot only offers the solutions to man's earthly ills and the best life in this world one can have, but all that and heaven, too.

Wherever, whenever, whoever walks in the light as He is in the light is blessed of God. What the faith of Christ has done for others, it will do for you, even all who come to God's Son. But how can we expect His blessings if we remain aloof and apart from Him? Will you see these truths and obey God?