Friday, June 12, 2009

What's Christianity about? (Part 2)

Earlier this week I asked the question, "What's the heart of the Christian message?" Here's my own answer. It's not intended to be definitive. It's just a launching point...

The first thing to understand is that God’s plan is abundant life. That’s what God wants for us. Jesus said it was the reason he came to earth. He said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” That doesn’t just mean he wants you to be breathing. It means that God’s plan for you is a full and satisfying life.

That’s what he wants.

But there are a lot of things that get in the way of us experiencing that. You know something funny? Even though people disagree some on truth, we have a lot more agreement on the idea of evil. There are some things that pretty much everybody agrees are bad things, like murder, genocide, selling young girls into sex slavery.

You can probably think of some too.

All these things rob us of the life God wants for us. Some of them bring about a physical, bodily death. Some of them put dreams to death, and some of them, when they’re experienced, kill something inside a person. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, but God’s free gift is eternal life. So the idea is that we earn death by doing things that God, who designed us and the world we live in, never planned on. The messes we’re responsible for bring more and more death to the world and to people’s lives.

So the world isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.

Now if we thought about this really hard, I’m sure we could think of some ways we’ve contributed to this problem. I know for a lot of guys, we fail to value women as God wants us to, and we get stuck in lust. We lie, we cheat, we do all sorts of things outside God’s plan, and as we do those things, we take a step away from the life God designed us for.

But God provided an answer by sending Jesus to take on himself the death we deserve, and pay the wages of sin. He died on the cross so we could be free from these things. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, so that whoever believed in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

And he rose from the grave to prove that he’d conquered death.

Someday God’s gonna set everything right. But until then, we have to tackle these problems one person at a time.

As we do so, we’re trying to make things right in the world, according to the plan of the very one that designed it. So now that you know God’s plan for you is abundant life, do you have any questions?