New City Church meets Sundays at 10:30 at the Confederation Park Activities Centre.
2212 13th Street NW, Calgary, AB
It is impossible to separate who Jesus is and what he came to do. We've all heard the word gospel, and that word means "good news". Jesus came to announce that there was good news for the world. The good news is that although humans are lost and broken (the evidence of it is everywhere), God had to come and save us.
God did this by becoming a man, specifically Jesus of Nazareth. He lived just as you and I with one important distinction - he never did anything wrong. This doesn't mean he was just a nice guy who was always friendly and kind (we may know people we would describe this way), but he kept all of God's laws. He lived the perfect life and deserved far better than what he got. Jesus was killed by the people he came to save.
So, although we have gone wrong and deserve death, Jesus, who lived perfectly, deserved to live and instead died. On the cross, before he died, Jesus asked God to forgive those who were putting him to death, and then he rose from the dead, showing that death couldn't hold him.
Here is the really good news - Jesus willingly (with "joy" part of the Bible tells us) took the punishment we deserved so that if we believe in him we might get the reward that he deserved. Jesus has transferred all the credit that he was owed for living the perfectly obedient life over to those who love and trust him.
Because this is all true, it means that being reunited with God does not depend on how good a person you are or how sincere you are. It is not the quality of your life or faith that saves you, but the quality of the one you live for and have faith in, that saves you.
Do you see how liberating this is? Because you don't need to measure up to a standard to be approved, you can relax and start loving God freely and with joy. Rather than behaving well in order to be saved, you are assured that you are saved and then can start living well because you know that your performance doesn't determine your value before God. This is so radical an idea that it is hard for we modern Canadians to believe since we are conditioned to equate our value with our contribution to our workplace, families or city.
So, now what? Curiosity is meant to drive us to find answers, to seek conclusions. The best ways to get answers is to read God's Word (the Bible) and get connected with a community of Christians who are committed to journeying with you.
The fact that you are exploring Christianity is really exciting! I was a university student, steeped in philosophy and secularhumanism when I started systematically exploring the Bible, Jesus and the resurrection, so I have an idea of what you are going through. Feel free to explore our Skeptics Welcome section of our website and connect with a Skeptic's Group or one of our Life Groups to keep the journey going!