What do Christians believe?

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The one, true, living God has always existed in 3 persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

God created everything in the Universe, including humanity. We were made to be in relationship with God, enjoying His love and blessings. But tragically, humanity fell into sin and the whole creation was infected. The good created order was corrupted and damaged, including humanity.

Humans willingly choose to reject God and live their own way. And because God is good and just, He must do away with sin by punishing it. In His kindness He had a plan to rescue fallen humanity and fix the broken Universe. He made a promise to a nobody named Abraham, promising that through His family God was going to save the world. God was gracious with Abraham’s descendants, having a special relationship with them and making them a great nation: Israel. They were to be God’s special people, shining as lights in the world as His representatives. God gave them laws to follow, a king to rule over them, and an abundant land to live in. But Israel was just as sinful as the rest of the world. They kept rejecting God, and it seemed as if God’s promise to Abraham wasn’t working out. How was He going to save the world through Abraham’s family?

In about 6BC, in a small town called Bethlehem, a baby was born named Jesus. He was born to the Virgin Mary, and was a descendant of Abraham. Jesus was a real man who lived a perfect life of obedience to the law of Israel. When Jesus was about 30 years old He began teaching in the Jewish synagogues about the kingdom of God and how it was close at hand. But even more startling to the religious leaders of the day was His claim to be God Himself. They were so startled and angry at His claims and teachings that they organised for Him to be unfairly tried by the Roman authorities and then publicly executed through crucifixion – a painful method of death that came from blood loss and suffocation by being nailed to a cross.

On the cross, as Jesus died, He was declared to be the King of the Jews (Israel). Now, remember how Israel was the nation that descended from Abraham, and how God had promised that through Abraham’s family the whole world would be saved? The fact that Jesus was declared as the King of Israel meant that He was essentially being declared King of the world. This suffering man, dying in humility, was actually at that moment being crowned. On the cross God poured out His wrath and justice against sin on Jesus, and Jesus died, enduring Hell on the cross. But that’s not the end of the story.

On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, showing that death had no authority over Him. He rose to life with a renewed body, in victory and triumph over sin. After 40 days He ascended into heaven and commissioned His disciples to go out into all the world and make disciples, declaring that Jesus is Lord and proclaiming the message of the forgiveness of sins.

Because Jesus is Lord, we can be forgiven, we can have a new identity, and we can now have a restored relationship with God. In Jesus we see God’s love for His people that was so powerful that He sent His one and only Son to die for us. In Jesus we see the God who is real and who has kept His promise to Abraham. One day Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead, and will renew the whole Universe just as His body has been renewed. And when that day comes all of God’s people will be gathered to meet with Him, and will for all eternity enjoy the sweetness and never ending joy of knowing God and being in perfect relationship with Him.

This is called the Gospel, the divine pronouncement that the one, true, living God has come in the flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Christ of Israel, and is Lord and Saviour of all creation.

In one sentence, Christians recognise, believe, and declare that Jesus Christ is Lord.

James Chen

James is a Philosophy graduate from the University of Sydney and is currently a teaching and learning manager of a senior high school tutoring centre. James is a member of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Carlingford and loves reading and teaching the Bible.

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