Te Rongopai ~ The Good News about Jesus
Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”
The popular philosophy today is that all religious belief systems, as long as heart-felt, are equal. Pick any one of them – Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, or New Age Spirituality and follow it sincerely, and you’ll get to Heaven. That’s what most people in the world believe, but Jesus teaches otherwise.
There is little historical question that Jesus Christ existed. Even the date on our calendars testifies to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth lived on earth nearly 2,000 years ago (“B.C.” means “before Christ” and “A.D.” means Anno Domini, “the year of our Lord”). What people wonder about is the biblical record of His life and teachings, His miracles, His claim to be the Son of God, and His offer of eternal salvation.
Hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, Scripture records the words of the prophets of Israel predicting His coming. The Old Testament, written by many people over a period of 1,500 years, contains more than 300 prophecies describing His coming. All of these details came true, including his miraculous birth, His sinless life, His many miracles, His death and His resurrection.
More Than a Man
The life Jesus led, the miracles He did, the words He spoke, His death on the cross, His resurrection, His ascent to heaven – all point to the fact that He was not merely man, but more than man. Jesus claimed, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), and “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).
He Changes People's Lives
The life and teachings of Jesus Christ have produced great changes in the lives of men and women throughout history. Where ever the gospel (“good news” from God) has gone in the world society has been influenced for the good and individual’s lives have been dramatically changed.
For example, Lew Wallace, a famous general and literary genius, was a known atheist. For two years, Mr. Wallace studied the leading libraries of Europe and America, seeking information that would forever destroy Christianity. While writing the second chapter of a book he planned to write, he suddenly found himself on his knees crying out to Jesus, “My Lord and my God.”
Lord, Liar or Lunatic?
In his famous book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis makes this statement:
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.”
Biblical Christianity is not just a philosophy of life, nor an ethical standard or obedience to religious ritual. True Christianity is based on a vital, personal relationship with a risen, living Saviour and Lord.
Who is Jesus of Nazareth to you?
Your life on this earth and for all of eternity is affected by your answer to this question.
If you’re wrestling with your own beliefs and would like to ask some questions, express doubts and get some answers, we would be more than happy to talk or provide you with more information about knowing God.
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What is the Gospel?
As a church we’re driven by the gospel of Jesus Christ. So what is it?
The gospel is good news that the eternal, holy creator of the Universe, planned before the foundation of the world a means for sinful men and women to be reconciled to Himself.
Each of us has sinned against God, breaking His law and rebelling against His rule, and fully deserving of eternal punishment in hell.
But in God’s love, he sent His Son Jesus Christ, fully God and fully Man, to live a perfect, sinless life in obedience to the Father. Jesus then submitted to the Father, and suffered a cruel death on a cross, satisfying the divine wrath of God for the sins of the world.
Jesus then rose triumphant from the grave three days later, conquering sin and death for all those who put their faith in Him alone for their salvation (Matt 1:21, Luke 1:68, Eph 1:7, Col 1:20). He now reigns in heaven, and offers forgiveness of sin, righteousness in Him, and hope of eternity in God’s presence for all who repent of sin and trust in Him.
What is a Christian?
A Christian is someone who has received new birth as a free gift from God (John 1:12-13, John 3:1-15, Eph 2:8-9).
A Christian is someone who has confessed their sins to God seeking His forgiveness, and has placed their trust in Jesus Christ alone for present and future hope of salvation.
A Christian is someone who loves Jesus and seeks to follow Him each day by the power of the Holy Spirit.