Everyone has an opinion about Jesus. Some love him, some hate him, some couldn't care less. Here at The Oak, Jesus is everything. Without Jesus we have no hope, faith, Saviour or church - so Jesus really is at the centre of everything we are and do.
The question is: what do you think about Jesus?
The Gospel (Good News) of Jesus changes everything!
When we at The Oak talk about Jesus Christ, we use the word 'Saviour' to talk about how our relationship with God, and each other, has been completely transformed through the saving work of Jesus. Everyone has a story, let us tell you ours...
When the world was created it was perfect. God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) created it and filled it with his presence and his power, with animals and birds, and with human beings - made in His likeness, made to mirror His character and being. Humans, us, were created to be with God and to live in a world full of his presence.
At some point in this perfect place, sin entered. Sin is anything that would bring separation between man and God. Sin is anything that takes honour and glory from God. Sin is anything that makes man higher than God, or lower than each other.
The result of the entrance of the sin was that humankind got banished from God's perfect presence and the whole world got scarred as a result - everything changed; everything became distanced from God's perfection. Mankind was and is still made in his image, but it is a broken one, like a cracked mirror reflecting an image. All of this needs putting right – and God is no dictator.
The Old Testament foretells of a time when God's people will be back in a relationship with Him. It shows us the holiness and perfection God desires for that relationship to be re-connected, but you and I aren’t perfect, are we? So, in a way, we're stuffed and deserve to spend eternity out of His presence. This is why we need a Saviour, a saving one. Only with a perfect Saviour, willing to pay the price for our sin, can we ever enter back into the perfect presence of God. Only Jesus, the perfect Son of God, has done this.
So when Jesus died on a cross and rose again three days later, it wasn't a waste of time. It wasn't just another crucifixion in another roman city. It was His saving act, His taking of the death that was due to us, that enabled us to be included in God's people, His family. What is even more incredible is that when the crucified carpenter rose from the dead He finally ended the separation between us and God.
So why is Jesus important to us? Because without Him, we are as lost as the rest of the world. With Him, we have relationship with God and a hope that God will renew and restore all things to be in his presence.
This isn't the half of it either. Ask anyone at The Oak what and who Jesus is and you'll hear the personal story of what the Son of God has done for so many, the freedom and healing He's given, the new hope and the relationship people experience. I challenge you, go on, ask someone...
If you would like to know what we believe with regards to the main doctrine of the Church, the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith sums it up wonderfully for us.