What we believe about God matters. Whenever we say ‘God is…’ we are speaking some of the most important words we can say. If we believe that God cares about suffering, then we can’t be indifferent to the suffering in the world. If we believe God loves everyone, then we must confront our own desires to hate other people.
So, how do we know what God is like?
We believe that God has revealed himself to us in the person of Jesus, to whom the Bible is a witness. Looking at Jesus is like looking at God in a mirror. As an early follower of Jesus wrote, Jesus ‘is the image of the invisible God.’
This begs the question: what does Jesus tell us about God? What did he do while he wandered the earth?
We believe that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus are historical facts. Had we lived 2000 years or so ago in the area around the River Jordan, we could have witnessed Jesus’ miracles. We could have heard him preach his message of repentance. We would have seen him confront the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of his day. We would have wept or perhaps joined in with the crowd that cried out for his execution. But the story didn’t end with his death on the cross. Three days later he rose again. Not as a ghost, spiritual idea or apparition, but in bodily form. Real enough to touch.
You may ask: why does any of that matter?
It matters because of what Jesus revealed about God and about us. Jesus predicted his death and his resurrection. His death was no ordinary death. Jesus said, ‘I did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many.’
It’s an odd idea – a ransom. An exchange, a payment. Jesus’ death pays for something that we cannot afford.
We are all in need of forgiveness.
We are all caught up in a deadly cycle of wrongdoing.
We are not powerful enough to rescue ourselves from the anger, jealousy, dishonesty, addictions, and pride that we find so easy.
Jesus forces us to confront our identity as sinners, rebels against God in need of saving. Lost people needing to be found by a loving God. Jesus said, ‘those who are well have no need of a doctor, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.’
Who is Jesus?
It’s hard to sum up on a website page. Sometimes it’s easier to experience what we believe about Jesus than read about it. Join us on a Sunday morning and discover that God is still in the business of finding, rescuing and transforming sinners, people like you and me.
If you'd like a chance to find out more about Jesus and about Christianity in general, this autumn we're running a "Christianity Explored" course, which is a seven week course that explores who Jesus is, based on Mark's gospel. For more information and to sign up, click the button below.