In his book, Wishful Thinking, Frederick Buechner defines salvation as "an experience first and a doctrine second....It is a gift, not an achievement."
At times it seems we complicate God's gracious gift of life through Jesus Christ. Some suggest a list of formulas, necessary beliefs, and carefully worded prayers as necessary steps toward faith in God. Eugene Peterson's translation of the Bible is known as The Message. He translates John 3:16-17 in this way: "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.
As Buechner said, "salvation is a gift, not an achievement." This is what the Apostle Paul wrote to the early church in Ephesus: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God [Ephesians 2:8].
No one is too bad to be accepted, loved and made new through God's love as seen most clearly in Jesus Christ. As Paul Tillich wrote: "The heart of the Gospel is being accepted though unacceptable."
If you would like to learn more about being a Christian, you are encouraged to call, email or visit our pastor, or contact a minister near you.
Once you "become" a Christian, you are not through "becoming" a Christian. It's much like a marriage. Once you "become" a husband or wife, you are not through "becoming" a husband or wife. You work to become a more complete spouse. So it is with being a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ. The journey of becoming continues.
In The Divine Comedy, Dante writes, In His (God's) will is our peace. Living our lives according to God's purpose--God's will--gives us a peace and serenity that we cannot find anywhere else.
We learn more about becoming a Christian as we practice the attitudes and behaviors that Christ teaches us and models for us. We learn more about those attitudes and behaviors as we involve ourselves in churches, as we read good books, and as we serve those around us.
You are cordially invited to visit with us as together we learn more about becoming a Christian.