Silverton Evangelical Church

First, let's get the story straight

What is it that Christians actually believe? Unless you understand this, you can't get very far!

And yet many people have a twisted idea of the basic Christian message. They think that it's all about living such a good life that God will be impressed enough to let you go to heaven. But the Bible makes it painfully clear that nobody can do that. It doesn't matter who you are:

 There’s nobody living right, not even one,
    nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.
They’ve all taken the wrong turn;
    they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.

How did we get in such a mess? And what can we do about it? That's the real message of the Christian good news.

 God made us to be his friends - nothing separating us from him

The Bible says that God made us "in his image" because he wanted us to have a relationship of love and trust with him. And at first there was no barrier between him and us. God still wants that kind of friendship with us - but something happened, way back then, to spoil his original plan.

"Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near." - The Bible.

 It was our rebellion that spoiled the relationship

What went wrong was us! God didn't make us machines, or robots; instead he gave us the freedom to decide whether we'd go his way, and serve him, or rebel and follow our own selfish desires. And the human race hijacked the planet from its Creator. Immediately, the relationship between him and us was clouded. No wonder that nowadays people wonder whether he's there or not; we're "dead in sin", as the Bible puts it, and so there's no contact; the line between God and ourselves has gone dead too.

"We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and got lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way." - The Bible.

 Jesus - a real human being, but different

But 2000 years ago a man was born who was different. He was a real human, not a hologram or something, but he seemed to have a close friendship with God such as nobody had had for many centuries. For him, the cloud of sinfulness just wasn't there! He said, "I and the Father are one" - that he was God himself in human form.

"No one has ever seen God,
        not so much as a glimpse.
    This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
        who exists at the very heart of the Father,
        has made him plain as day." - The Bible

 Jesus took our sin on himself, so that we could go free

What had he come for? Not just to tell us about God. Not just to show us what perfection looked like - that would just have left us tantalised, frustrated and guilty. No, he came to die. When he died on the cross, Jesus took on himself the full weight of our sin and shame, paying the price so that we would never have to. For a few dreadful hours, he literally went through hell to set us free.

"God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins." - The Bible.

"God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ." - The Bible.

 Because of Jesus, we can be friends with God once again

So the barrier has been removed. We can come to know God again, as children in his family, through Jesus. And a Christian is simply someone who has allowed that to happen - who has accepted the gift of new life that Jesus is offering, and has come back to the Father to live once again under his direction and protection. When you take that step, you start to enjoy peace with God, the power of the Holy Spirit at work in your life, and the presence of the Lord Jesus day by day. And yes - it doesn't stop at death - it goes on forever.

"What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole." - The Bible

That's what it's all about: the great free gift of eternal life, offered to you right now.

So what would you have to do to get in on it? Click here to find out.