About Christianity

One of the best ways to find out what Christianity is all about is by reading the Bible for yourself.  You could start with one of the four gospel accounts of the life of Jesus - maybe Mark or John.  The book of Acts tells the amazing story of the early church, while letters like Romans or Philippians explain the gospel and the Christian life in more detail.  You can also find out more, of course, by coming along to our services or by attending a Christianity Explored course.


WHO IS GOD?

Christians believe that there is one God who is real, who created everything, and who rules over everything.  There's plenty about him that we can't understand, as you would expect, but in several ways he has made himself known to us.  The universe itself, in its magnificence and beauty and design, testifies to the reality of God.  But God has also chosen to reveal more about himself in the Bible, which we therefore receive as the true and authoritative Word of God.  And most clearly of all, God has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ, the focus of the Bible's story.

The God of the Bible is radically different from the 'gods' of other religions because he is Trinity - he is Father and Son and Holy Spirit, and yet one God.  This means that love and relationship go to the heart of who God is.


WHO AM I?

The Bible assures us that the basic questions that we all ask, about where everything came from and who we are, are good questions.  We ask them because we were designed to live joyful and meaningful lives in relationship with the God who made us - his desire is that we might share in the love which he knows within himself.  Where the Bible says that we were created 'in the image of God', part of what that means is that deep within us is a need for the kind of love which can only be found in God.  We can only ever find our true identity in relation to him.

The problem is that we have all, to a greater or lesser extent, rejected the rule of God in our lives.  We have lived for ourselves.  We have failed to put Jesus first in everything, which is what the Bible calls 'sin'.  That sin alienates us from God.  If this alienation is not overcome, we will be separated from God forever.


WHO IS JESUS?

The Bible tells the amazing story of how, in love, God acted in history to save his people.  Jesus, who is the eternal Son of God, became a man in order to live the life of perfect obedience to God which we all failed to live.  He then died in our place, as our substitute, taking the penalty for our sins.  Those who trust in him are put right with God.  Jesus also rose from the dead on the first Easter Day, signifying that he had defeated the power of death over us.  His resurrection means that all who trust in him will also be raised from death, and will know eternal life with God.

The Bible also teaches clearly that Jesus will one day return to his world.  He will make the whole world new, cleansed of sin and pain and death.  All who have trusted in him will also be made new and will inhabit this new world, while those who have rejected Christ will now be rejected by him.

WHAT IS GRACE?

Our church is called Grace Church Larbert because the idea of grace goes to the heart of the Christian faith.  Religions generally work by asking their followers to do certain things which will earn them acceptance by whatever 'god' they follow.  Christianity is radically different - and the difference is deeply humbling and deeply liberating at the same time.  Christians believe there is nothing we can do to get ourselves right with God, but that Jesus has already done it all.  Salvation is therefore not something which we achieve, but something which we receive - as a free gift.  This is grace.  Is it really as simple as that?  Yes!


WHAT IS THE CHURCH?

The church consists of all who have come to know Jesus, love him, and trust in him for the forgiveness of their sins.  There is only one Church throughout the world, but it meets in individual congregations.  When you become a Christian you become a part of the Church, and being a part of a local congregation is an essential expression of that.  The Christian life is a shared life - we need one another to know Jesus and to serve him well.  In the church, Christians find our true home and our true family.  Here we grow, as we are taught God's Word and as we encourage one another constantly.


WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

At various points throughout the New Testament, people ask, 'What must I do to be saved?'  The answer is always the same: repent and believe.

To repent means acknowledging your past sin - your failure to put God first in everything.  It means rejecting and turning away from this life of sin, and submitting to Jesus as your Lord and King.  It means accepting that he has the right to run your life - and that this will be your greatest joy.

To believe means trusting that Jesus has made it possible for you to be restored to God, and leaning wholly on him to do so.  It also means trusting in Jesus day by day, as he gives you a new life of love for him and others.