First and foremost we are all about a guy named
but why and what does that mean?
Take a look around our world. Listen to the conversations that are taking place; on the streets; in coffee shops; in the media; on Facebook feeds; between parents at the school gate as they drop off their children; over dinner tables; over death beds and in the more reflective hours of the early morning, after nights out and late night parties. If you do, you’ll discover that most of us are all looking for a Way forward, for a Truth that makes sense to us, and for a Life with meaning and purpose. It’s like we know we were made for more…
…and we believe, you were!
We believe that Jesus is the one through whom all things were made. He is the one who gives life to all things.
Without Him nothing can fully live. And that’s why some of us still feel that there’s more we haven’t yet grasped, experienced or understood.
It’s recorded that Jesus Himself said that He came that we might have life, and life in all of its fullness. He also said this “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” His teaching is His way, if you hold to His way then you’ll discover the Truth, not just a truth but The Truth that is the truth behind everything, God Himself; and that Truth, that God, will set you free, which means He’ll bring you to life in all of its fullness.
The bible says that God SO loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not die but live. I like to explain that like this….
…He loved us so much, that he gave up his heavenly glory and became a man. But it didn’t stop there. He went on to give up even more. By being nailed to a cross and dying, He literally nailed Himself to the centre of human history so that everyone could see Him there so clearly, in order that we would know two things:
1. Who He is and what He is like. He is not a God who lords it over us, but a God that gets down in the dirt with us, levels with us, stands with us. He is a God who is for us and loves us, willing to give Himself for us.
2. That we have somewhere to leave, dump, get rid of, hang, crucify and kill all the things that chain us up and stop us from living. The bible calls that stuff sin, and the place where we can dispose of it is the cross of Jesus. He died giving us the chance to let all our rubbish die there too.
Then He rose again, showing us that none of these things, not even death, have power over us to stop us from living life in all of its fullness.
That’s who Jesus is. And that’s what He invites each of us to know and experience.
And that’s why we think Jesus is so amazing and we love Him so much.
The Way, The Truth and The Life.
Be with Him
Being a Christian is about discipleship to Jesus. And discipleship is kind of just churchy word for apprenticeship. The aim of being a Christian is to become like Jesus, a fully a live human being carrying the image of God. So how do we become like Him? Well we need to learn from Him and how do we learn from Him? Well first we need to get up close and spend time with Him. We need to BE WITH HIM.
So how can we be with Him?
There are many ways we can do that, but a few good places to start are:
- Worship: The bible says that as He is lifted up He will draw us to Himself. So as we worship Him, we start to see more of Him and get drawn into His presence.
- Reading the bible: The bible (or the scriptures) are God's word to us. A good place to start if you want to get to know someone is by spending time with them listening to their voice (or reading their words to us).
We're reading the bible together as a church over two years. Why not join in?
Learn from Him
So it starts by being with Him, but then as we spend time with Him we start to learn from Him. We see what He is like and how he does things. But there's more to learning than that. Learning really starts when we start having a go. Jesus showed His ways to the disciples but then He sent them out and said "you go and do it" and when they did they were amazed as they discovered more about who Jesus was and about His way. Click below to listen to a talk on learning as a disciple.
And have a go. Once you have started to spend time with Jesus why not step out and start to learn from walking in His ways. Below are a few "Spiritual disciplines" or "holy habits" that you could start to put into your life to discover what happens when we start to live the way of Jesus.
Fasting & Feasting
Silence & Solitude
Become like Him
The end goal of discipleship, like with any apprenticeship, is to become like your teacher - to become like Jesus. But that's not something you can make happen by trying too hard.
So you've started by being with Him.
Then you started learning from Him by doing some of the things He did - practicing His ways.
That's great - Romans 12:1 calls that "offering your body as a living sacrifice". You've started on the journey. You made a decision in your heart to follow Jesus, and then you committed your life, your ways, your body to living by His word and His way.
The part that come next is a work of the Holy Spirit.
The more we give our lives over to Jesus, the more room we make for His Spirit to be at work in us, the more we will start to see the fruit of the Spirit produced in our lives (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control - Ephesians 5:22-23), the more we start to be transformed and become like Him.
So then, let us now continue to choose the way of Jesus, crucifying our old ways and making space for His Spirit by practicing His ways, and let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:24-25)