There is one fundamental assumption we must make if the Christian message is to make sense. It might seem obvious or it might seem controversial, but the assumption we have to make is that there is a God!
OK, so we assume there is a God but how can we know Christians have the true God? Well for the purposes of this article you will have to assume that Christians have got it right! This may seem a bit much to take for some people but it is where we are going to start.
So, assuming the Christian God is the true God then we can also assume that He is the creator of the universe and all things. If this is not the case, then the whole Christian thing is just a waste of time. Well at least most Christians happen to be quite nice people so perhaps not a complete waste.
Now if God is truly the creator of all things then it is fair to say that the Christian holy book we call The Bible which is claimed to be the inspired “Word of God” could well be in fact ‘The inspired Word of God’.
Here we must not try and get too complicated and ask questions about creation that the bible does not cover or try to answer. The first book Genesis was written 4000 or more years ago, in a time when understanding was different than it is today. After all we cannot expect the Bible to refer to computers, iPods, television and all the modern things of today. However, it does include some degree of explanation of what creation and life is all about.
We must also understand that the Bible is not a complete history of this world, it is only in fact the history of ‘Adams race’. (More on this later)
At the end of the biblical account of creation comes the final and most important part of creation. God creates man. Well not just created man because the Bible shows us this is very special. God did not just create man as yet another species, He created man in the image of Himself. Obviously not with the almighty powers He has but with something special, the ability to know the difference between right and wrong and especially to understand God and to be able to communicate with God.
God’s final act of creation was man. In fact, and this can be hard to fully understand, but creation happened for the benefit of man! To understand God and Christianity we need to know that man is the very pinnacle of God’s creation. Then things will start to make sense.
Other religions are based on reaching out to find a god and are about what we can do to achieve some level of spiritual achievement. Most with no absolute certainty of reaching paradise (however you define it).
The Christian message is quite different because it is about God reaching out to us with an invitation to get to know Him personally. Why because the Bible teaches that God has a purpose for every person born into this world. We are no accident, each one of us is important to God, He cares about us and wants us to experience His Love for us.
God reaching out to mankind may seem a bit far fetched compared to our human perspective of having to do and to achieve to get something. However it does make things a lot easier for us once we understand the basic fact that God wants us to know Him.
So back to Adam’s Race as promised earlier. We can enter into all sorts of arguments about creation, evolution, genetics and many other things but let us not complicate the issue too much at this time. There is one point we must understand, as difficult as it might seem to believe, mankind is the pinnacle of all creation.
The Bible story tells us that God created a man called Adam ‘from the dust of the earth’. You can take this literally or not but it is a fact that mankind is made of the substances found on this planet, which is the dust of the earth. This points towards mankind being created in the same way that everything else is on this planet. Man is not a supernatural being, not a god, but a created being. However the Bible then explains why mankind is different, God gave man the ability to have a relationship with God and to understand good and evil. The story of Adam and Eve and the apple (or more correctly as the Bible calls it the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) which was forbidden by God, helps us to understand this.
From this point on men and women were cut off from direct communication with God. What ever our beliefs might be, we cannot deny that there is a lot that is very good with mankind and a lot that is very wrong and even evil with some people. We will use the biblical description of sin, which ultimately is a form of rebellion against all things which are good.
We are all part of Adam’s Race, men and women who have the ability to understand and know God and have a personal relationship with God. Even more important, God is reaching out to us and wanting us to know Him personally.
Many people believe they are not good enough for God to be interested in them, some even think they have a past with too many bad things which will stop them knowing God. The Christian message at its very heart is about forgiveness, it is about making a new start, it is about starting a new life. The past is not what is important, however, what we do in the future is.
We can get the ‘living a life that pleases God bit’ sorted out after we get to really know Him. It definitely is not a pre-
Want Proof? The proof is Jesus -
It did not start with Christmas! The birth of Jesus as a baby was prophesied all through the scriptures written before the birth of Jesus, what we now know as the Old Testament part of the Bible. During the old testament times, God gave a set of rules to live by, part of which we know as the ten commandments. When Jesus came he explained that it was just not a set of rules God wanted us to follow but also that we could know God on a personal level. He should know for He Himself is God.
This where the person of Jesus comes into the story. Jesus is also called the Christ or Messiah which means the promised one. Four of the ways the bible describes Jesus include the “Son of God”, “God who became Man” and the “Word of God” but the most impressive is “God with us”. Jesus is obviously someone who is very special. And contrary to what many may think, there is a huge amount of historic evidence that Jesus was a real person. In fact very many times more evidence for Jesus than for Julius Caesar, whom nobody disputes as being a real person.
The Christian message is not about churches or religious practices it is about the One True God reaching out to everyone and giving us all a chance to know him.
Is it not logical that a God who has created all things with mankind, the pinnacle of his creation, would hold back from wanting us to know him and to have a relationship with him?
The message Jesus brings to us is that God cares about us! He cares so much that he was prepared to die a terrible death by Roman crucifixion to emphasise just how much he loves us. However, just to prove the point he is different, Jesus rose from the dead a few days later. God gave him back his life to show us that death is not the end and that there is a new eternal life beyond the grave. It might be freely offered to us but we must accept this free gift for it to belong to us. We cannot just ignore God or try to do things our way. It might be a popular song and an attitude that many embrace, but with God we cannot say “I did it my way”.
God offers every person forgiveness and a life which is just like being born again, a true fresh start with all the past forgotten, in fact a new start, a new life. That is why Jesus himself first used the phrase “born again” as it is the best way to describe becoming a Christian or putting it another way, a child of God. It is a starting a new life! Which is one reason that the Lord’s Prayer starts with “Our Father who art (is) in Heaven”.
Ask him for this gift of forgiveness and new life, it is just one prayer away!
If you want to know Jesus personally then go back and click on my article on how to become a Christian.
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Trying to make sense of the Christian Message
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