What Are The Essentials Of Christianity?
Christianity is first and foremost about the salvation that Christ has provided for us through his death on the cross and his resurrection. Many people, however, emphasize the work of Christ as a way of getting to heaven, or having eternal life. While we do receive these things as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, getting to heaven is not the focal point. Rather, at the heart of Christianity is that what Christ did through the cross makes it possible for us to be restored to a right relationship with God.
The Bible tells us that God’s goal in creating us as humans is that he would dwell with us in an eternal, loving relationship (Jn. 14:23; Rev. 21:2-3). In order that we might be capable of such a relationship, God determined to make us in his own image (Gen. 1:26). It was for that reason that, when God created the first human, he breathed his own life into him (Gen. 2:7), signifying that the special relationship God intended to have with us, would actually be the source of our life (see also Jn. 17:3). He would not only dwell with us, but he would also dwell within us!
The Bible also tells us, however, that we have turned away from God in rebellion and sin. Rather than enjoying the relationship he created us for, and the life it was to give us, we have become estranged from God, we have forfeited the life he alone can give us, and our sinful hearts are no longer a fit dwelling place for him.
While the Bible helps us understand how our relationship with God has been broken, and the predicament we are in because of it, it also tells us what God has done to remedy the problem and restore us to a right and life-giving relationship with him. This is what Christianity is about.
At the heart of Christianity then, is Jesus Christ. He is God’s remedy for the human predicament. He died as a sacrifice of atonement, to cleanse our hearts from sin so that God can once again dwell with us and in us. And he rose from the grave as proof that sin and its dreadful consequences have been overcome by the grace and power of God. To be a Christian is to put one’s faith in Jesus and what he has done for us. When we turn away from our sin and rebellion, and turn to Christ in trust and dependence, we enter again into that relationship God made us to share with him, all of which is only possible because of Christ.
Pastor Jon EnrightAugust 1, 2016