Our Faith Explained
For those who have a relationship with Jesus, we have freedom from death and sin. Yes, we are human. We still sin and make mistakes. Sometimes we choose wrong choices or go down a road we shouldn’t travel for a while. That’s because we aren’t perfect. If we were, we’d be God Himself. We as humans also physically die like everyone else. But we are talking beyond the physical. We have a spirit within every human body. That spirit will live on forever. This is where the choice lies. Do we choose a life of death that we’re destined for? Or do we choose an eternal life of freedom?
You see, humans are naturally wrong. Adam was the name of the first man that started on earth. He did something that God, the Creator, asked him not to do. He had a choice and he chose to disobey God. This set a course for the rest of humanity. Sin and death entered the world. Sin just didn’t really get a defined title until a guy named Moses came along. This group of people that he led, called the Israelites, got a long list of rules to follow. A list that seemed insurmountable to achieve. This list was called the Law. The whole point of the Law was to show the people that they would never measure up to perfection. They would always make mistakes.
Even though most of the world didn’t know this Law, they had a sense within them that there was a right and wrong choice to everything. They also knew within themselves that there must be a Creator that started this world in the first place. This thought of a God existing and the notion of right and wrong was to help guide them to God Himself. He was the one that put these thoughts into man.
So, what was the world supposed to do if sin and death was the only answer? How did they break the cycle of evil? How would they avoid an eternal life of depravity?
The whole point of the Law was to show the people that they needed a Saviour. They needed someone to come and make all their wrongs right. Everyone around the world who thought they needed to do good works, sacrifice animals and children, do ritual dances, or bow down to their idea of what God might be, needed to be taught the right way. They needed someone to show them what God wanted and expected of them.
Enter Jesus: A baby born in a little town in Israel. He was all God and all man. You see, God, the Creator, has three parts to Him, kind of like we have various parts to ourselves (body, mind, soul, spirit). God doesn’t have a physical body. In human understanding, He’d be like the mind and soul. But one of His other parts does. That is Jesus. Some people called Him “the Angel of the Lord” before He came to earth as a man. He is the Son and physical presence of God the Father. Then there’s the Holy Spirit. It’s kind of like our spirit, but holy and perfect. It can also be divided up between God and a multitude of people.
So, the Holy Spirit put Jesus as a little embryo into a woman’s body named Mary, using part of her and part of God. She gave birth to Him nine months later. He grew up like any other Israelite boy. The difference was there wasn’t any evil in Him. The part of Jesus that was fully God meant that He was perfect. He couldn’t sin.
However, in order to free us from our sin and eternal death, He had to die. He had to face all of our sins and die for each one of us. If He died, where did He go? Well, there’s this place called Hell.
There was an angel in heaven, named Lucifer (morning star or light-giving) that was created when Creator God made everything. God made everything perfect, but gave everyone a choice how they would live. Lucifer was beautiful to look at. He was one of God’s right-hand angels. But he let pride, jealousy, and envy overtake him. Lucifer decided He wanted to rule over everything, including God Himself. He planned to usurp the throne, take charge, and created havoc doing so. He was the complete essence of evil. Nothing good was in him. He formed a tribe around him with plans to overtake the throne. He wasn’t afraid to murder, cheat, bribe, and deceive his way into kingship. He would kill anything and everything that got in his way.
So, God had to punish him. Him and all his followers. His name was changed to Satan (adversary) and his punishment was to rule over a horrible place called Hell. Since man chose to listen to Satan instead of God, all people had to go to Hell.
You say, “that isn’t fair”! Well, that’s the price for sinning. That’s why so much of our world is hurting, evil, and falling apart. Satan’s wreaking havoc here now. No good works or ritualistic, religious thing will win God’s approval.
But you see, Jesus who died, didn’t stay dead. He took on all our death. He took on all our sin. But because He is God and stronger and way more powerful than Satan, He was able to rise from the dead. He defeated Satan and death! Remember, Satan is only a mere angel. Jesus is God Himself. Because of what Jesus did, He has given us opportunity to be free! Though we still sin, we aren’t ruled by it. We don’t have to make wrong choices or keep following the same patterns we always have. We don’t have to be overcome by fear, guilt, shame, doubt, or worry. We don’t have to fall into lying, cheating, and stealing. There’s a different way of life.
Jesus needed to go back to heaven to prepare a sweet place for all His followers to spend for eternity. Those who choose to believe in what He did, who He is, and want a relationship with Him get to live in an eternity of bliss. We’re talking no physical pain or ailments. No reason for grief. No sadness. This place is filled with never-ending health, joy, peace, love, laughter, play. We’re talking perfection. A beautiful landscape to observe, and life with God Himself. A ton of friends that will cheer you on. The way the Bible describes it, is simply amazing.
So how do we make the right choices if we choose to follow Jesus but He isn’t here to help us? That’s the amazing part about the Holy Spirit. Like I mentioned earlier, the Holy Spirit can be in multiple places at the same time. If you choose to have a relationship with Jesus, you’re given the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible (God’s word to us), it says that the Holy Spirit is the “down payment of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:14). Inheritance meaning eternal life with Jesus. God Himself, a very part of Him, now resides in His people.
I have a piece of God inside me that’s helping me to make right choices. Remember that the Holy Spirit is holy and perfect. That means that the perfect Spirit is talking to my spirit and telling it to do what’s right. It’s helping me find joy, peace, and mercy. It’s telling me how loved I am. It’s giving my spirit little presents to help me serve Him. These presents are gifts that help my character grow. Things like an ability to teach, help others, and encourage people around me. It’s letting me know that I can find freedom from all the lies Satan has filled me with. Things like fear, bitterness, insecurity, feeling like I’m weak. Because none of those are true when I live with Jesus.
The more I spend time with Jesus (I do this by reading His Bible, singing songs to Him, and listening to the Holy Spirit), the more I can make right choices, be kinder, be more loving towards others, and be who God created me to be. I feel more fulfilled and excited about life because I’m not just meandering through it. I have purpose and value.
My life is not just about me anymore. It’s about Jesus and everyone around me. I don’t want them to live in sin and death. I want them to feel alive in Jesus. I want them to understand that they have purpose and value too. I want them to know that they are loved and created perfectly. They don’t have to strive for perfection, they can come as they are and know that God will help them be who they are meant to be. To know that they have a home that they belong to. One that is going to be amazingly perfect.
I know it can be hard to believe all these ideas. It seems a little out there. But when you choose to step out in faith and believe the story about Jesus and know that He is real and alive, things begin to happen. Your life begins to change. You start to see God working in your life. Things happen that don’t make sense apart from the fact that God did it. The Holy Spirit starts to speak to you. You hear your own voice, but the thoughts and logic are different. Your heart might stir and it might sound slightly crazy or out there, but it’s incredible when you learn to hear the difference. Because the Holy Spirit is leading you into the life He has designed for you.
I’ll warn you that life will still have its trials. It won’t be easy and sometimes it won’t make sense why you’re dealing with what you are, but know that you’ll overcome it. You’ll eventually see the reasons why and it’ll all make sense. The Lord will “never leave you” (Hebrews 13:5b). He will be with you every single step of your journey from the time you start following Him into eternity.