How does one answer a person who claims to be a Christian without Christ? That means he accepts that the Old Testament is true, but Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is excluded. It boils down to Christianity without Jesus.
In this issue one has to remember that the Old Testament and the New Testament form one revelation. The Old Testament teaches that Adam, our ancestor, failed to obey God. God told Adam, ‘…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’ 1 He ate and broke God’s commandment. Adam and his wife were banished from the Garden of Eden and cherubim with a flashing sword guard the entrance. From that time entry into God’s Eden, the eternal Kingdom of peace, is forbidden.
So God’s planned Kingdom is closed to Adam’s descendants (us) because we inherited Adam’s nature that cannot obey God. Somewhere, somehow we will sin, even in small things. The punishment remains the same: eternal separation from God. Yet God loved Adam and Eve so much, that He fulfilled His law that they must die, Himself. He made clothes for them from animal skins. So animals died in their place. Sin can only be forgiven by the shedding of blood. Throughout the Old Testament animals died as sacrifices for the sins of God’s people.
Then the New Testament explains that God sent His own Son, Jesus, to die in our place for our sins. Because Jesus is sinless, He could be the sacrifice for our sins. The shedding of Christ’s Blood re-opened the way to Eden once for all. ’But now He [God] has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.’ 2
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 3 Nobody comes to the Father except through Him. If a person claims to be a ‘Christian’ without Christ, he or she has no way to be reconciled to God, or to enter the eternal Kingdom.
Another crucial aspect is that Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit. When Jesus ascended back to heaven, He sent us the Holy Spirit to be our Helper and to live in us. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.4 No Christ, no Holy Spirit, no relationship with God.
Naturally the devil likes the message of God without Jesus. The devil lost his battle with Jesus, and hates Jesus. He thinks it is fine to exclude the only way to God, namely through Jesus. The Holy Spirit leads us to God, while the devil does the opposite.
God without Christ is not the Gospel. It is dangerous to change Scripture, very dangerous. Please help those who believe the devil’s lie that you can be a Christian without Christ.
- Genesis 2:17
- Colossians 1:22
- John 14:6
- Romans 8:9b