My attempt to “briefly” explain my faith.
The Bible tells the story of humanity’s relationship with God. It is basically the story of Jesus. Jesus is described in the Nician Creed as eternally the begotten son of God the Father, so it takes more than the 4 Gospels to tell the whole story. He was with the Father before the beginning of our time, and will reign eternally sitting at God’s right hand. The Bible is the account of man’s fall from his first estate, his inability to approach a God that is holy, and God’s plan of salvation to bring sinful man back into fellowship by redeeming individuals through the sacrifice of Jesus. The Law given by Moses doesn’t justify, it only shows how far we fall short of righteousness. Only after understanding that we cannot redeem ourselves, does Christ appear incarnate to become the sacrifice for many. In short, the Old Testament is the story of mankind’s fall and inability to fix it. The Gospels tell the story of “God with us,” the earthly lifetime of Jesus, and his death, burial, and resurrection. Beginning with Acts, the New Testament tells the story of the creation of the church, and instructs us how to build the kingdom of God.
This is the most concise way to cover the very basic tenants of my faith. I could expound each sentence of the above paragraph into volumes, and may endeavor to do so. I believe at the essence of the Bible story is the story of Jesus. I believe sharing the Gospel message, the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, should be the very heart and soul of Christianity. If a church has preaching and teaching devoid of Christ, it becomes a self-help program, a social event, a theological seminar, or something other than a New Testament church. Helping couples strengthen their marriage, training parents to raise their children, offering youth activities to keep kids off the streets are all a part of what the church should be doing, but not the whole. All of the church’s programs and activities should be focused and centered on sharing Christ.
It is not true that everyone has heard about sin, knows about the cross, and what the world needs to hear is something else. Every sermon doesn’t have to be on the crucifixion for the church to be Christ-centered. But in almost every sermon preached, lesson taught or song sung, the Gospel message should be plainly visible. In Galations 2, Paul is saying that the very life he lives is actually Christ living in him. When the world looks at us and listens, Christ should be seen and heard.
I know that I am not alone in this, but there are not as many of us as there used to be. Which is why it is more important than ever in our dark world to shine the Gospel light. Let’s encourage one another in this mission, pray for one another, and invite others to join the effort to spread the Gospel so there can be a next generation of believers.