What is Christianity all about?
You can see our statement of faith for a more detailed summary of what we believe the Bible teaches. But here is a simple run-through of what Christianity is all about.
God is good – but sadly we aren’t
Our world is filled with bad things. Loneliness, sickness, cruelty, war, death – the list seems endless. Some people blame God for the bad things that happen in the world. But the Bible tells us that God is good. When He made the world it was perfect in every way. The mess and the conflict and the sorrows we see all around us now are the result of us spurning God’s ways and thinking we know better than God does. So many of our problems are the result of our greed, our discontent, our selfishness and our desire to “do it my way”. The Bible calls this sin. And it never pulls any punches – it tells us straight – “all have sinned”. That includes you and me.
God can be known
We usually think of Christianity as a religion where you do religious things like going to church or praying or reading a Bible. But that just misses the point!
The Bible says that God wants people to “seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us”. People who have become a Christian have all “reached out and found God” – found a relationship with a God who can be known. Its so different to just “religion”.
Being good doesn’t get you to heaven
We all naturally think that heaven is for good people. And maybe we hope that we’ll be considered good enough when our time comes. After all, we probably haven’t done anything really awful, and we think that at heart we’re not too bad.
The Bible’s message is quite shocking – heaven is only for those who realise they aren’t good enough and can’t fix the problem themselves.
Jesus wasn’t impressed by the religious people of His day, who did good things like praying or giving to the poor. He compared Himself to a doctor, and He said to the religious people “its not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” No-one goes to a doctor to tell him or her how much they exercise each day, and what a good diet they eat, and how healthy they are!
Before we can have any expectation of heaven, we need to see ourselves in the same way as a sick person needing a doctor. Its only when we realise that we’re not good enough for God that we realise that Jesus can deal with our biggest problem – our sin. Heaven is for those who have trusted in Jesus and found God’s forgiveness through Him.
Jesus is everything
Jesus is at the heart of everything we believe as Christians. We believe that He died a cruel death on a cross as the only way for us to be forgiven. And by trusting Him, we find not just a slate wiped clean from all we’ve done, but we find our lives transformed from the inside out.
Jesus is the only person who has conquered death. His resurrection is one of the best attested facts of history. And that means He is alive today! So when we trust our lives to Him, we find a constant Friend through whatever life throws at us.
God is for everyone
One of the most famous verses of the Bible says “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (ie Jesus), that whoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life”.
“Whoever believes” – that includes you and me. God is for everyone, whoever you are, whatever your background. But we have to believe – that is we need to trust in what Jesus did, and submit our lives to Him. It’s the very best thing you can do!