Christianity; What is in it for me?
What would you get from following Jesus? It is a good question.
People who make a decision to accept Jesus as their Saviour usually report big changes in their lives - changes for the better. With faith we get hope and freedom from fear and many of the big questions about our lives are answered. Of course there is a great retirement plan too - eternal life in a far better place - all that for accepting Jesus into your life. The logic goes like this. The Bible tells us that God created everything we see and don't see - even us. It also says we shall be asked to account for our actions before God one day and those who have not put their trust in Jesus go to hell, those who do have no penalty to pay, and go to heaven. If this is true then you and I need to do something about it.
We are talking here about a relationship rather than joining a religion. So what does this relationship mean and how do we get to that point? One way is to ask God to reveal himself to you.
Who is God and who is Jesus? God is spirit. That is we can't see him but having created all things it is obvious his abilities are far beyond anything we can imagine. The good thing is that having created you and I he cares for us greatly and wants us to have a close relationship with him. Jesus is spoken of as God's son in the Bible and also addressed as "God". He walked on earth for a time in human form and will return. The other person of the "trinity", as it is called, is the Holy Spirit. He is the spiritual presence of God we receive when we accept Jesus into our lives. It is the Holy Spirit that brings us a deep peace of mind and enables us to understand things that we were unable to before. For example, the Bible can be confusing and rather uninteresting before we accept Jesus, or are "saved". The presence of the Holy Spirit brings those same pages alive with meaning.
Last question. What does the term "saviour" mean then? The Bible tells us that God created a perfect world but the first people disobeyed him. Let's name names - it was Adam and Eve - they did it. This disobedience is what we call sin, which means falling short. Sin is like a genetic defect that was then passed down through the generations. We all know what it is like to want to do the right thing but fall short. Sin is like an offence against God and we all feel offenders should be punished. God's desire though is that we return to the perfect relationship with him and not be punished. As a result he asked his son, Jesus, to take the punishment for us even though he had never sinned. That is where the cross comes in. His punishment was to die a pretty awful death as it had to account for every type of wrong doing, even your wrongest wrongdoing. Because he "saves"us from punishment Jesus is called the "saviour" and we are "saved" when we accept that he died for our sin. We are also accepting him as our "boss" and we look to obey his instructions. The great thing, is, all this is about what is best for us; what gives our lives the most meaning and the most happiness. That's cool. And, as we said, when the going gets tough we just need to ask in order to get help from him. Oh, and no payments are needed. You can ask God to reveal himself to you for free!
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More resources: www.gotquestions.org/essentials-Christian-faith.html