In America, there are many churches, countless Bibles, and endless discussions about Jesus. Still, we often find that despite these things, Christianity is often poorly understood and the message of Christianity is frequently distorted. The following is our way of describing what the heart of Christianity is.
Christianity can be called a religion, a philosophy, a worldview, a way of life, or a faith. But perhaps it’s best to call it a story: not a fictional story, but a true account of God and his creation.
Christianity is the story of God, who is eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, good, perfect, and loving. God is one Being in three Persons: Father, Son, Spirit. Therefore, God is an inherently relational Being. He created everything in order to be known. When he created the universe, including our planet and everything on it, he made it good. Because God made everything, he owns everything. Everything was made for God’s good purposes.
Christianity is also the story of human beings, who were made to know God and to reflect his greatness. We were made to be like God, and in some ways we are, but we have all rejected him and rebelled against him. Even though we see the evidence of God in all of nature, we do not seek him or listen to what he says. Because the first human beings disobeyed God, nothing is the way God originally intended it. Because we disobey God, our lives are hard, we fight with each other, we get sick, and we die. And because we disobey God, he has the right to punish us. He is a perfect judge, and the evidence shows that all of us deserve punishment, which means eternal separation from God and anything good.
Christianity is, finally, the story of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second Person of the triune God. Because he is God, he is also eternal, but he became man when he was born of the virgin, Mary. Unlike us, he lived a perfect life, obeying God the Father, and loving others. Though we deserve punishment, Jesus took our punishment for us when he died on the cross. Crucifixion was a horrible, painful death that the Roman Empire used for criminals. Jesus, our substitute, died such a horrible death because our disobedience to God had to be punished.
The good news of Christianity is that everyone who turns from their rebellion against God and loves, trusts, and obeys Jesus is forgiven of all wrongdoing. Everyone who believes this message is declared innocent by God. Everyone who believes this message will one day live forever in a perfect world, which Jesus will one day create when he returns.
In order to be part of this good news, you must stop living for yourself and start living for God. This starts with believing that God is who he says he is in the Bible. It starts by trusting that Jesus’ death pays the price for everything wrong you have ever done. And it starts when you follow him. This means learning about him by reading your Bible. It means praying to God and having a personal relationship with him. And it means becoming part of a community of other believers, a community we call church.
Being a Christian is not always easy. It means our lives will be permanently changed. God changes us by giving us the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the one true God. The Spirit changes us from the inside out, by giving us new hearts, by guiding us, and by helping us follow Jesus.
There is nothing better and nothing truer than to know and love the God who made you and was willing to die for you.
Find out why, in the end, there are two ways to live.
Here is one video that will help you understand this story.