Key Points of Christianity
God is One but manifests in three persons: Creator-Father, Redeemer-Son, and Holy Spirit, the inner presence of God which inspires the soul and leads the heart and mind toward God. In his eternal reality, the essence of Godís nature is the perfection of love between Father, Son and Spirit.
Image Of God
God is the creator of all that is; by his word he brings it into being. Nothing exists without his word calling it forth. God is beyond our understanding, beyond our capacity to comprehend, yet makes himself our father, caring for our smallest need, hearing with love each softest whisper of our hearts.
Then, because of our great need, our great longing, our lostness and desperation, he stepped into time, took on the limitations and suffering of our form, and entered our world as one of us, to become our way back to God Ė to carry us where we could not go ourselves.
And even when God is not present in physical form, the living Spirit of God indwells our very hearts. We can find God closer to us than our own breath. His Spirit is the living center of our spirits, the true home for which we long, the place where our humanity becomes truly human.
We have been created in the image of God; humans have an eternal spirit like Godís. The human spirit is meant to have continual conscious eternal communion with God. We are not merely the creation of God but his children. Like a mother, God has given us her own life of eternal spirit to be our living center. We are not God, and we cannot see God as that pure eternal Oneness of Being, but we can catch glimpses of who God is, reflected in the human spirit. The reflection of God is all around us in every person, hidden behind the many layers of our ephemeral, finite, selves which we imagine ourselves to be
Though made in Godís likeness, we have lost our way; we have let go the hand of God; we have compromised our living spirits. We have re-made our souls into places of self-serving self-indulgence Ė places that produce anger, greed, hatred, abuse, oppression like mold on rotting fruit. We have turned our gaze away from the light of God and now see only the long shadows of our own self-centered cravings stretching out before us. We have lost our intimate relationship of love and companionship with God. We have lost touch with the true source of joy, beauty, contentment, goodness. We have lost the sole meaningful and fulfilling purpose of life when we lost sight of God.
God has not abandoned us to our misguided choices, our self-destructive paths. Again and again he reaches out to save us from ourselves. Even when our choices bring us to despair and destroy those around us, he does not turn away, but steps into history and into our lives to offer us a way out, to create a new way for us to return to the truth of our humanity as children of God. The story of God and humanity is one of continual salvation, unending redemption because he created us from love and desires only our love in return.
Each person, at every moment, makes choices that carry them in one direction or another in their life. We have a natural tendency to choose from selfish motives, to please ourselves at the expense of others, to respond with anger or meanness, to use others, to take more than our fair share in life. But there is within each of us the likeness of God that opens up other paths, other possibilities. By choosing to turn away from those life directions of seeking our own gratification and turning toward God in love, our lives take on new colors of hope and grace. The repeated choices to leave behind our self-absorbed focus and reach toward a God-centered focus, is the daily journey through the process of salvation. It is the one meaningful on-going struggle and purpose of the human life Ė becoming what we already are: ďchildren of GodĒ.
Godís grace makes possible the redemption, the path to that redemption, and the turning around. We are dependent on God for our being, for our redemption, and for our capacity to see the wrong direction and choose the right direction. We may think that the decisions have been ours, that the choices to turn toward God have been ours, that the desires to reach God are ours. But in fact all is just the outcome of the active living presence of Godís likeness, permeating our being, giving life to our hearts, our spirits. We have only to open our hands that clutch so tightly, open our heart, our spirit, our soul, let go of ourselves and we find God has placed himself right there within our grasp. And the opening is Godís and the heart and spirit are Godís. And in finding that we are Godís completely, we find our true home, our true self.
Jesus is the manifestation of God in human form, the actualization of Godís grace in space and time, the perfection of our humanity in one life and death. He was and is, for Christians, the Christ, the Son of the Trinity. He is himself the path to God; his life, death, and resurrection have created a way for anyone to return to God. Holding fast to him, seeking at each turn, in each instant, to please him more than ourself, transforms the human heart and life. Jesus the Christ is the essence and heart of Christianity.
By developing a relationship of love, commitment, and submission to Christ, the human soul continually brings itself into a living relationship with the transforming Grace of God. This is the essence of the path to redemption, the restoration of the original intended state of perfect, continual communion with God .
The community of those who believe in Godís grace and Christís work of redemption become the hands and feet and heart of God in the world, accomplishing the work of God, the work of Christ in their thoughts, words, and deeds. It is not a formal or organized community, but the collection of those souls who have completely and utterly surrendered their own self interests and seek only to live for love of God. When the personal ego is forgotten, and only God is remembered, then God is free to move through the world from heart to heart.
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