What Is Christianity?
Christianity is all about knowing who Jesus is, believing in what he taught and did, repenting of our sins, trusting in him, and following him as his disciple.
Everyone who takes an honest look inside himself knows that he falls short of the mark. We can't even follow our own rules (for example, do you recycle perfectly?) much less follow the laws of God ("love your neighbor as yourself"). And while there are many religions, philosophies, sciences, disciplines, and courses that can offer us temporary relief and self-improvement, none of them get at the root of the problem: that we are fundamentally in rebellion against God.
In fact, insisting on selecting our own ways to "get better" is one of the symptoms of that rebellion. Jesus taught that he himself is THE way that God has appointed for us to make peace with God. Rejecting Jesus and insisting on doing things our own way (while we, presumably, get the glory ourselves), is just another way to say "no" to the Heavenly Father who loves us.
God, because he is just, has to punish sin. But because he is also loving he provided a substitute, his own Son, Jesus Christ, who lived a sinless life and bore the penalty in our place by dying on a Roman cross. Punishing the Son in our place was not an immoral thing for God to do, because Jesus himself agreed to be sent by the Father on this errand of love, humiliation, and sacrifice.
The good news is that the grave could not hold Jesus. God raised him, physically and literally, from the dead. The resurrected Jesus walked with, ate with, and spoke to his followers — at one point, more than 500 at once. And his resurrection is a promise for all who believe in him that they too will be resurrected to eternal life on the day that God has appointed for everyone to be judged. As Jesus said, "...I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die..." (John 11:25-26).
We do, however, have to repent of our sins and trust in Jesus. Jesus' sacrifice is applied only to those human beings who agree to give up their rebellion.
All this may make perfect sense to you, or you may find it confusing. In either case, if you are interested in talking about this, please contact us. Or stop by worship this Sunday and speak with us. Also, we occasionally teach an excellent course called Christianity Explored that deals with who Jesus was and what Christianity is. Our next class will be on April 1, 2016 at 7pm. If you may be interested in taking this course, please contact us and let us know.