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Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Gift

Because it is such a joyful holiday, this can be a difficult time of year if you are missing someone or mourning losses. However, whoever you are, you have at least one Christmas gift: God's Christmas gift.

I often like to ask people what a Christian believes? Many people answer "A Christian believes in God," but really many non-Christians do also-- for example Muslims, Orthodox Jews, and people without any faith at all.

So, what does a Christian believe that is unique?

The kernel of the Christian message can be found in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (NIV)

A Christian believes that God is so Holy that there is nothing that anyone can do to ever be good enough to be with Him. To be reconciled, God sent Jesus, His only Son, God, man, of one being with the Father although also separate (The Trinitarian doctrine that no one can completely understand in this life; I won't go into this here). Jesus lived a perfect life, and died as the perfect Passover lamb for the ultimate sacrifice. A clear, entertaining, fun, 3 minute video that explains this concept of grace is here.

If a person acknowledges that he is unable to be "good enough" for God's standards, and accepts Jesus' death and resurrection as a substitutionary provision, he WILL be reconciled with God, which means he will be with Him forever, on earth now and in Heaven for all eternity. This is the only way to be reconciled with God (John 14:6: Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (NIV))

I came to my faith as a skeptic who didn't want to believe in God, and after almost a year of study and piecing many bits of evidence together, was blown away by the strength of the case for the resurrection.

God ardently wants you. He loves you more than you can understand. All you have to do is accept His Christmas gift, Jesus. Your life in one way will be easier because He will now always walk with you, and in another way will be harder because you will change, and grow, and conform to the likeness of Christ. But the difficulties, even the rejections or other problems from becoming a Christian, are so outweighed by the good it isn't even worth comparing (Romans 8:18).

I saw a billboard last year that I love:


God is love. Don't turn away from Him.


Note: As I'm writing this I did a little googling, and found a good site that probably explains "becoming a Christian" better here. BTW this particular site is Baptist, I am now Lutheran;the differences in denominations are interesting but not essential to the core belief of Jesus as Savior and Lord.There are many other sites on what a Christian believes or how to become a Christian as well; just do a google search. For brevity and clarity on this blog entry, I left out some Bible references but I'm delighted to cite chapter and verse if you write me to ask.


Anonymous said...

Great post, Amy. God bless you this Christmas season.

I believe Jesus is the Christ, through faith in Him, His birth, His death, His ressurection, I'll be with Him in eternity.

Thanks for your post!

Travis said...

Well said. I know this post will change someone's life.

Leo said...

Nice post and presentation of the gospel. I trust the Spirit uses this mightily!