1. Jesus

Jesus Christ “It scares me that we have a generation of Christians who know what Jesus would do, and yet will do the opposite and call themselves followers of Jesus.” – Tony Campolo

The Jesus Event: The Old Testament points towards it. The New Testament reflects back on it. God becomes a man to be both our Lord and Savior. During his life, Jesus taught us to personally connect with God through himself, and not through any religious structure. The “church” is the people who follow Christ – not the building, vestments or anything else that’s part of a particular style. He also teaches a radical new message of self-sacrifice and enemy love, and models it in the way he lives his life.

Matthew 5: 43-45 (from “The Sermon on the Mount”)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Perhaps the best example of this would be the days prior to his crucifixion. Jesus tells a disciple to put down his sword when he’s being arrested, he doesn’t ask his followers to violently revolt against their Roman oppressors during his trial, and he actually prays for the people who are putting him to death. This is completely opposite to how many Christians today would act in situations like this.

Much of the confusion about how Jesus wants us to live comes from accepting him as our Savior (saving us from sin) but rejecting him as our Lord. Since the meaning of the word “Christian” is literally “Christ follower”, we all need to be humble enough to say to ourselves “He’s the one who has the right to tell me how to live.” Seasoning our lives with a little Jesus while doing whatever we want has led Christianity into some pretty dark places throughout history. Not exactly what Jesus had in mind.

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To learn more, click on “The First 500 Years” at the top of the page.

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