Many people have questions about Christianity.  Below is a list of a few common questions concerning Christianity:

  1. What is the Gospel?

    The gospel, in it’s simplest form, is the good new of Jesus Christ; who Jesus is, what Jesus has said and done, and why it is important.  So, when we communicate the gospel we need to accurately share who the person of Jesus Christ is, what he taught and did, and why we believe it’s an essential message to becoming a Christian.  Here is a simple explanation of the Gospel. God Creates | Man Sins | Christ Redeems | We Respond 

    God Creates.

    Genesis 1:1 states very clearly  that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” God always has been and always will be.  He is eternal, uncreated, and far beyond our complete comprehension.  Yet he has chosen to reveal his nature and character to us through Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture.  So “in the beginning” is not the beginning of God, but rather the beginning of creation, and that beginning is “very good.”  Yet, the “very good” state doesn’t last.  Man, the pinnacle of God’s creation, made in His image in order to reflect and represent God to all creation, rebelled against God’s way choosing disobedience, separation, and death.

    Man Sins.

    Beginning with Adams’ sin, the very nature of man is now fallen.  Rebellion and idolatry attached itself into the core of man and we remain unable, on our own, to set right the wrong we had done.  God gave man his law, through Moses, to guide and govern the people.  But this law had no power to save, only to condemn.  The weight of man’s sin was unbearable. Generations passed, God’s chosen people grew in number, but remained under the harsh bondage of sin. God sent prophets to speak God’s words to the people; words of correction, words of comfort, and words of hope.  Hope that redemption was coming.  Man would not live estranged from God forever, governed under a law we were unable to keep. For as Isaiah prophesied hundreds of years before Christ; “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light… for to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…” [Isaiah 9:2-7]

    Christ Redeems.

     The redemption of man was not possible by works of men, not even if those works were according to God’s law. Rebellion, selfish ambition, pride; sin had infected the hearts of men and could not be undone. One may ask why. The act of rebellion from a righteous man (Adam before the fall) could not be undone by endless apparently righteous acts from unrighteous man. The undoing of sin must come from a perfectly righteous man. God himself took on flesh in order to live a life in perfect obedience to God (and God’s law), in order to be an atoning sacrifice for those whom God would save. John writes it this way:

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. he was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” [John 1]

    Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin, so that we may become his righteousness being saved from the power of sin, death, and hell. The apostle Paul writes:

    “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” [Romans 5:17-21]

    Through the perfect obedience lived by Jesus and the final sacrifice offered by Jesus, salvation was made possible for sinful man.

    We Respond.

    So what now?  Scripture says that if we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that Jesus is who he says he is and he has done all that he has said he has done, then we will be saved.  There is a great mystery between the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man, but it is clear that salvation belongs to the Lord and is a work of the Lord, but that we are called to respond.  Our response is to put our faith in Christ.  This is more than hope or even future security.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for [Hebrews 11:1].  If it is the substance or assurance of hope, then it must run deeper than hope.  Faith is a complete confidence in the person and work of Christ Jesus to be sufficient in this life and the next.  You don’t need to repeat a scripted prayer, but you do need to confess your absolute need for Christ and all he offers, teaches, and commands.  This confession is not to be done lightly [Luke 14:27-33] but should be carefully thought through.  But this confession, if compelled by God’s irresistible grace, brings life from death.  If you would like more information about becoming a Christian, look below on Question #4 “How do you become a Christian?” or contact us to speak with a Pastor.

  2. Who is Jesus?

    Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity.  He is one in power, nature, character and essence with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, yet He is distinct in personality.  He has existed eternally as the begotten Son of God.  It was through the person of Jesus Christ that the universe (all seen and unseen things) was created.  Jesus added to his divine nature humanity, submitting to the will of the Father, and coming to earth as a human being.  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born to the virgin Mary.  In this incarnation, Jesus became fully human while remaining fully God.  He lived a perfect life on earth, enduring temptation yet without sinning, maintaining complete obedience to the will of the Father. 

    Jesus willingly sacrificed his life in the place of sinful man, taking on the guilt for our sins.  He absorbed the Father’s righteous wrath towards sin, and made a way for mankind to be reconciled with God.  He conquered sin and death by his death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.  He rose from the dead with a glorified body, and was seen by the disciples and many witnesses.  He now sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven.  All power and authority over all creation has been given to Him.  Jesus has been exalted to the place of highest honor and His name is higher than any other name.  At His name, all living things will someday kneel and confess Him as Lord.  He will return someday to enact justice and judge the world, completing the salvation of all whose names are written in the Book of Life.

  3. What is the Bible?

    The Bible is a divinely-inspired book written by the hands of men.  It is a collection of 66 individual writings, written by 40 different authors, describing their encounters with God.  While these words were written down by human authors, the content was inspired by the Holy Spirit.  What results from this are the words of God expressed in the writing style, language, and vocabulary of the human authors.  It tells the story of God, and describes how He revealed Himself and interacted with mankind throughout History.  It’s central theme, woven throughout every book, is the exultation of Jesus Christ through the redemption of mankind by Jesus’ life, death on the cross and resurrection. 

    The Bible is different from any other book in that it is “living and active”.  While the content does not change, The Holy Spirit assists believers with the reading and understanding of the Word, opening their eyes to new truths they had not seen before from familiar passages.  He uses the words to impart wisdom and insight and to convict of sin.  The Bible is God’s primary tool to sanctify us, teach us, and speak to us.  The words recorded by these authors are without error or mistakes in their substance.  It teaches us everything we need to know about God to be reconciled with Him.  The Bible is the complete revelation from God.  Nothing can be taken away from it and nothing can be added.  It is the filter through which all actions, thoughts, teachings and doctrines must be passed through.  It is the final say and the authoritative voice on these matters.  When The Bible speaks, God speaks.

  4. What is a Christian?

    A Christian is a person who has come to the place where they recognize their sin against God and their desperate need to be saved from it.  They have repented and turned from this sin.  They have had a change of mind.  They have chosen to stop living life their own way and agreed to hand over control of their life to God.  They believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and have accepted His death on the cross as payment for their sin debt to God.  As a result of this, they are made perfect in God’s eyes.  They have passed from death to life.  They have received a new identity.  They are adopted into God’s family and become His children.  They are no longer sinners but are considered saints by God.  They are forgiven from all sin; past and future.  God sees Jesus’ righteousness covering them.  They now are granted direct access to the Father and can come to Him in prayer.  They receive the Holy Spirit living within them, who guarantees their eventual inheritance as His children and eternal life in heaven with God.  

    The Holy Spirit also provides the power to change and gradually become more like Jesus.  Christians are not perfect.  They are works in progress.  It is the work of the Holy Spirit that accomplishes this within them, in concert with their effort.  The Holy Spirit gradually produces fruit in a Christian’s life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.  The word Christian literally means “little Christ”.  It is the goal of every Christian to gradually become more-and-more like Jesus Christ in their desires, thoughts and actions. 

  5. What is the church?

    The church is the community of all true believers for all time who know Jesus intimately and accurately in order to proclaim Him confidently.  The “rock” on which Jesus notes he will build his church upon in Matt. 16, we believe, is the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ by those who know him intimately and accurately.  We know Jesus intimately by spending time with him in prayer and worship.  We know him accurately by the means in which he has chosen to reveal himself to the world; Scripture.  Scripture alone reveals to us who God is and how we are to live according to his plan.  The authority that has been given to the church is not one of political or governing authority, but rather, the authority that the church has is directly related to its faithfulness to the gospel message according to the Word.  

    For more information on this topic, check out our 2 week series on the church, titled: “Why We Do What We Do.”