Why do we do this thing called "church," meet regularly to worship, spend time reading our Bibles and praying when we could be doing lots of other things instead? We do this because we have met God through Jesus and know that God loves us. We have seen God work in our lives and want to respond by spending time with him, getting to know him better and making a difference for him in the world.
We believe that Jesus Christ was God's Son in human form; he lived the perfect life to show us what God is like. He helped people to understand God’s love for them, he healed the sick, cared for the down and outs and the most vulnerable in society, even brought dead people back to life. He taught with authority; his teaching still carries influence around the whole world today. He invited all to be part of God's Kingdom; not limited to a particular place or time, but a kingdom where God's presence, power, love and life are seen in this world.
Jesus died for our sin
Jesus came with a message of love yet made many enemies; especially amongst the political and religious leaders of his day. He was arrested under false charges, given a staged trial and executed by crucifixion, a death which the Romans gave the worst criminals and rebels. Jesus' death wasn't some random tragedy, but part of God's plan to deal with darkness, wickedness and evil in the world.
Jesus knew this would happen way before the events unfolded. He gave up his own innocent life to take a sentence he didn’t deserve. He took on his own shoulders all the evil and wickedness of all past, present and future generations, so that we can receive God's forgiveness and have a relationship with God as our loving Father. Jesus’s death gives us life. Jesus gives us a way to find peace with God, with one another and our world.
Jesus rose from the dead
But Jesus' death on a cross isn't the end of the story. God raised Jesus back to life a couple of days later to prove that he was who he said he was, to show that God had beaten the power of sin and death. He appeared to over 500 people to prove it. His close followers, the disciples, met him again and were changed overnight from a bunch of frightened and confused men and women, to bold men and women who talked about his resurrection with everyone they met, healed people and saw all kinds of miracles, just as Jesus had done.
Christians believe that Jesus is still alive and that by his Spirit he talks to us, answers prayers and empowers us to live every day for him. He offers everyone friendship with God, so we can become God’s children, part of his family. Anybody can experience this by asking God’s forgiveness for the things they have got wrong, (their sin); putting their faith and trust in Jesus and seeking to follow him in their lives (even though we still mess up at times)!
Jesus offers us a new life that enables us to be transformed; to be healed inwardly, to be more loving outwardly; to fulfil our potential as human beings and to experience a richness and fullness of life that also continues after death. We can be part of God's plan to transform this world, to fight evil and darkness everywhere as God's goodness and life wins out. The journey of faith is an exciting adventure. It is challenging, sometimes difficult, but fulfilling and rewarding. Living life with God is wonderful and as a church we want to share the same good news that Jesus came to share with others.