Home Menu

Rising Above Independent Christianity

On July 4, 1776 fifty-six brave lawyers, jurists, merchants, and farmers huddled together in Philadelphia to sign a document declaring independence from Great Britain on behalf of the United States of America. For Americans, no holiday conveys national pride like Independence Day. Families come together, enjoy backyard barbeques, attend patriotic services, and oooh and ahhh over fireworks displays.

Independence is an enormous achievement for a nation, but on a personal level, independence is not all it’s cracked up to be. Christianity is all about community—communing with God through Christ and with our brothers and sisters in the faith. Dependence upon Christ and interdependence upon fellow Believers is the Biblical model of living as God intended.

Dependence upon Christ

Just as the computer you’re reading this on must be connected to the power source to be effective, our life must be connected to Christ as our power source if we are to bear the kind of fruit that Paul talked about in Galatians 5:22-23. The Christian life is impossible solely on the basis of our own strength, morality, and intellect. Attempting to do so is living according to the flesh—no matter how successful we think we are. Christ says in John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Interdependence with fellow Believers

Not only do we need to be dependent upon Christ, but from the very beginning, God also designed us with needs that can only be met by other people. He never planned for us to be loners (Genesis 2:18). The Bible is a “one another” book. It says to “love one another” (John 13:34), “be devoted to one another” (Romans 12:10), and “serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). Our Christian experience is significantly diminished without the bearing-of-burdens and the fellowship of other Believers. Sometimes God meets our needs directly, and other times He meets our needs indirectly through the Christian community. Living in independence often prevents God from meeting our needs. Are you allowing Christ to meet the needs of others through your life? We are each part of Christ’s body on earth; a body’s individual parts are interdependent.

If your nation is independent, then celebrate. Thank God for using men and women courageous enough to step up to the plate and defend her. However, on a personal level remember that life is best lived in dependence upon Father and interdependence with others who hold on to this faith. Join with me in rising above independent Christianity.

Andy Knight

About the Author

Andy is the user interface designer for YouVersion, the Bible App. He has a passion for sharing God's story of grace and freedom through the internet. Andy lives in Roswell, GA, with his wife and three sons. You can follow him on Twitter at @andyknight.