Ok. So the Church of England (like every denomination) is full of mixed messages about what it believes. And presumably, most people dislike that and would like to know where we stand on a whole host of issues.
Below is a helpful 6-point (with diagrams!) explanation of the Christian gospel which we have always found helpful. A few additional points are added below in case you’re just looking to find out some guidance on a particular issue.
The message of the bible is not very complicated. Here it is in a nutshell:
There is one God, who has always existed (represented by the crown in the picture). He’s the loving ruler of the world. He made the world. And he made us to rule the world under him.
But, as we know, that’s not the way it is now. We all reject the ruler, God, by trying to run life our own way without him. Does that work? No – we fail to rule ourselves, or society, or the world.
What will God do about this rebellion? (What would you do, if you were God?!) – God won’t let us go on rebelling for ever. God’s punishment for this rebellion is death and judgement. As the bible puts it: “People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement” – Hebrews 9v27.
God’s justice might sound tough from our point of view – if fair. But here’s the brilliant news: God sent his Son into the world, the man Jesus Christ. Jesus (unlike us) always lived under God’s rule. Yet by dying in our place, took our punishment and brought us forgiveness.
Then, on the third day after his death, just as he said beforehand would happen, Jesus was raised to life again by God. He was seen by hundreds of people, before physically rising up from the earth back to the unseen heavens, where he now rules from. Sounds odd – but many witnesses saw it. And the bible explains why it makes total sense. It means Jesus has conquered death, that he now brings new life, and that he will return to judge the world.
Well, where does that leave us? We each need to respond to this. And there are only two options – only two ways to live:
Our way: continue to reject the ruler, God, and run life our own way without him. The result? Condemned by God, and facing death and judgement.
God’s way: submit to Jesus as our ruler; rely on his death and resurrection for forgiveness. The result? Forgiven by God, and given eternal life.
If you’d like to know more, please get in touch.
Three further points might help you understand Wellfield Church, specifically:
1. We are a church where Jesus is in charge.
We submit our own instincts and opinions to his, as he speaks to us through the Bible. Our minds are changed according to what he says. We commit our needs and wills to him in prayer. He defines our purpose.
2. We are a church that values everyone as individuals.
We delight in our differences of gender, age and background. We are all of equal worth, since we are made in God’s image and, for Christians, given new life in Christ. But we are not all the same. We seek to build one another up in Christ whoever we are.
3. We are a church with a specific aim to welcome the “unchurched”.
We are willing to leave all human traditions and preferences in order to make the gospel of Christ accessible to those who don’t yet know him. Primarily on the Broadfield Estate, where we are based, and surrounding areas.