What’s Christianity all about?
As you’ll probably be able to tell, we enjoy spending time together, worshipping together and being an active part of our local community. Church for us is a really valuable, positive and important part of our lives as Christians. But what’s it all about? In fact, what is Christianity really all about?
Many people today see Christianity as a crutch for the weak or an outdated religion that’s irrelevant for society today. Others get put off by “religion” in general, believing it to be a source of all kinds of problems and issues that divide people.
Well, it may surprise you that Christianity at its core is not really anything to do with rituals, “religion” or tradition. If you peeled away the layers of Christianity, at its heart lies a relationship (in fact, our relationship) with a creator God who wants the best for our lives and for this world around us.
What’s wrong with the world?
We all look around and feel like something must be wrong with this world. Just looking at war, suffering, disease and poverty surely tells us that this place we live in is not how it was intended to be, or indeed could be one day. Even as we look at our own lives we can see flaws, difficulties, fears, regrets and a whole host of other negative things that we experience as people.
Thankfully, Christianity does not rely on us being perfect people, or this world being a perfect world. In fact, it says the opposite is true! The Bible teaches that everyone gets things wrong and make mistakes. We all try to live life on our own terms and much of the way the world is, is because a person has done something wrong or hurtful. The Bible calls it ‘sin’. It’s those things that we do which also cut us off from knowing God as he wants us to, and that’s the problem we all face. Even if we did all the ‘good things’ we could ever do, that issue of living life on our own terms still remains and has separated us from a truly wonderful and fulfilling relationship with God himself and living eternity with Him.
Even though we are far from perfect though (and remember, that’s the point!) God still loves us. He still wants us to be able to rebuild that relationship with him. He knew he had to do something radical and drastic so that we can be forgiven (which is, when it comes down to it, what we all really want anyway!) and come to know him once again.
That’s why he sent Jesus.
Jesus came to bring us back to God.
Jesus was and is God’s Son, and came to earth 2000 years ago to live the (only ever!) perfect life. You can see that in the four gospels, or ‘accounts’ of Jesus in the Bible. He loved people, mended broken lives, healed people and eventually died on a cross. That death was planned, by the way! God knew that Jesus would die because death is the punishment for sin.
Now Jesus never sinned, but in dying he chose to take our sin for us, so that we can be forgiven, come to know God and be free from all the baggage we carry around with us in life. We too can share in the promise of an eternity which (one day) will be in a perfect world, just as God intended for us in the first place.
Imagine. No sickness. No relationship problems. No poverty. No depression. No pain.
That’s the world God wants and promises us. And because he’s God, we know he will deliver on that promise.
But the last question is, what do we do with that?
Well, there’s a verse in the Bible which tells us how we too can respond to that promise.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not die but have eternal life” (John 3:16)
That, in a nutshell, is what we call ‘the gospel’. It’s not an airy fairy religious thing that only fools believe, but simply a real promise that can change your life forever.
But it takes us doing something.
As I said at the start, we as a church love to meet together, worship and be a part of our community, however all that would be for nothing if we didn’t know Jesus personally.
Faith is all about believing that Jesus died for you personally. And that is the decision we have to make for ourselves. If we believe that truth and ask him to forgive us for living life on our own terms, making a deliberate decision to turn back to him, he promises to change our lives and make us part of his family once again… forever.
And that’s the real point about church, by the way.
We’re not perfect, we still get things wrong. But the point is, the church is God’s family on earth. The church is a group of people who have chosen to believe in Jesus, follow his ways and try to live lives of love as far as we are able to with his help. It’s also there to help point others back to God, not because we’re anything special at all, we’ve just discovered someone who really can change things around for us, in a very real way.
If you want to find out more...
A great way to engage with what Christianity is all about is to do the Christianity Explored course, which does what it says on the tin! You’ll be able to ask questions you might have, see what the Bible says, and decide for yourselves whether Jesus really is worth following.