Christianity is unique among world views; it is not a religion (human effort exerted to reach the Divine) but a relationship. God speaks creation into existence, speaks humanity into being, and through the Bible shows Himself to us so that we can know him as Creator and King in our lives. This is what we are made for.
But we have rebelled against God (we call this “sin”) by placing ourselves at the centre of our existence. Sin is not simply specific actions contrary to God’s law, but primarily an attitude of heart and mind which says, “I know better than God”. Sin is the posture of asserting my own way, not God’s, in my life. Sin is the broken relationship with God who made us and loves us. Sin is also expressed in the broken relationships with our inner selves, other people, and the physical creation.
What has God done about this state we are in? The stunning news is that He has taken it upon Himself to reconcile us to Him. He has done this through His own Son, Jesus the Messiah (Christ). Jesus was rejected by humanity, brutally tortured, and died, taking upon Himself the righteous judgment and punishment (death) our rebellion deserves, so that we can stand before God washed of our sin. It’s not that sin disappears into thin air, however. Justice demands that sin be “paid for”. The sentence must be served in full. Jesus does this for all humanity as our substitute.
How do we respond to what God has done? He tells us that we must repent (change course, do a ‘180’) from trying to create and run our own lives, and believe in His Son (that is, trust in who Jesus is, and what He has done for us). To be a Christian is to live in response to what God has done. And God has designed us to live in community. The Church (a local congregation or gathering of Christians) is God’s goal: His people living in His creation under His rule.
To find out more you could try one of our “Christianity Explored” courses.
You could read one of the gospels online, click here.