What is a Christian?

Deep within, there is a stirring, right at the core of our being. Every one of us has dreams and aspirations – not just for life and love, but for a truly beautiful world, a soul-satisfying purpose, and meaningful connection with something more, something greater, something beyond us and our world. These longings are hard-wired into every human being.

At the same time, we see our world is in deep trouble. Wars, corruption and social breakdown are daily news. People hurt one another, relationships struggle and families fail. We cannot even keep the standards we set for ourselves, let alone any standards God has given.

One thing is clear: despite our longing for true life, our world is broken and we are broken, at the deepest and most profound level.

God has addressed our brokenness

The Bible explains where this deep longing for something more comes from. God, our Creator, has planted it in our souls. God created a perfect world and he created human beings to rule it, care for it, and develop it on his behalf. But people rebelled, seeking to live independently of his rule and indifferently to his love. That rebellion lead us to our brokenness and to our endless chase for meaning.

While God is deeply grieved by human sin and rebellion, the Bible tells that right from the beginning God promised and planned to rescue people and restore their world. Through the ages, and through many different Bible writers, the promise of a rescuer became clearer and clearer. And eventually, God sent his own Son, Jesus to begin a new era in the story of humanity.

The coming of Jesus

Jesus came as true God and true man. As a true man, Jesus was perfect. He lived the life we could never live, perfectly keeping God’s law. Yet as true God he was also able to pay the price of our brokenness fully and perfectly. On the Cross Jesus died the death we should have died. On the third day Jesus was raised to life by his Father. Jesus returned to heaven and now rules the world from the most powerful place in the universe.

New beginning

God calls all people to turn away from their sin, to confess their brokenness, to believe in Jesus, and look to him for a new life. God graciously forgives all who trust and follow Jesus, and he begins to mend the brokenness which previously bound them.

God also gives his Spirit to all who trust Jesus. This Spirit starts to bring Jesus’ new life to expression in Jesus’ people. By the Spirit’s power, we make Jesus’ Kingdom the goal of our lives. We are drawn into his work of restoring humanity and this world to what God intended it to be.  God calls all those who love and trust Jesus to announce this good news to all people and to bring Jesus’ transformation to expression in all things and all areas of life.

Our great hope

Sometime in the future, Jesus will return to bring his work of rescuing people and their world to glorious completion. The universe will be cleansed of all sin and brokenness, heaven and earth will be reunited and restored, and once again all creation will acknowledge that he is worthy to receive all glory, honour and power.

This is the Christian story. We call it the good news, the Gospel. How much our world needs this good news about Jesus!