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									Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity




1


THE
RIGHT
APPROACH
Basic Christianity                         The Right Approach

God takes the initiative.
   The Bible reveals a God who, long before it even occurs to
   men and women to turn to him, while they are still lost in
         darkness and sunk in sin, takes the initiative,
           rises from his throne, lays aside his glory,
             and stoops to seek until he finds them.
Basic Christianity                           Right The Approach

God takes the initiative.
God makes himself known to us.
                        God has spoken.
    He has taken the initiative to make himself known. The
    Christian concept of revelation is essentially reasonable.
     The idea is that God has ‘unveiled’ to our minds what
         would otherwise have been hidden from them.
Basic Christianity                           The Right Approach

God takes the initiative
God makes himself known to us.
But it isn‟t enough!
     It isn’t just that we are ignorant but also that we are
   sinful. This is why it isn’t enough for God simply to reveal
   himself to us and dispel our ignorance. He must also take
                  action to save us from our sins.
Basic Christianity                         The Right Approach

God takes the initiative
God makes himself known to us.
But it isn‟t enough!
How to look for God and find him.
   God keeps his promises. He honours all earnest searching.
   He rewards all honest seekers. The undertaking given by
          Jesus is very clear: ‘Seek and you will find.’
Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity




2


WHO CHRIST IS:
The Claims
of Christ
Basic Christianity                         The Claims of Christ

Begin with Christ.
     Who Christ is and what he has done are the rock upon
              which the Christian religion is built.
     If he was not who he said he was, and if he did not do
     what he said he had come to do, then the foundation is
         undermined and the whole thing will collapse.
Basic Christianity                         The Claims of Christ

Begin with Christ.
Trust the Gospels.
   We don’t need at this point to go along with the Christian
   view and accept the Gospels as the inspired Word of God.
   All we need to do is take them seriously as the undeniably
              historical documents that they are.
Basic Christianity                         The Claims of Christ

Begin with Christ.
Trust the Gospels.
Admire... and worship.
   We are persuaded that Jesus was a historical person who
  possessed two distinct and perfect natures, one divine and
    one human, and that this makes him absolutely and for
  ever unique. In short, we believe him to be worthy not just
          of our admiration but also of our worship.
Basic Christianity                            The Claims of Christ

Begin with Christ.
Trust the Gospels.
Admire... and worship.
Jesus: “It‟s all about me”.
   This self-centredness of the teaching of Jesus immediately
    sets him apart from the other great religious teachers of
      the world. They point people away from themselves,
    saying, ‘That is the truth, so far as I understand it; follow
          that.’ Jesus says, ‘I am the truth; follow me.’
Basic Christianity                          The Claims of Christ

Begin with Christ.
Trust the Gospels.
Admire... and worship.
Jesus: “It‟s all about me”.
Jesus‟ claims to be the Son of God.
     He is not just another signpost, but the destination to
                  which the signposts have led.
Basic Christianity                         The Claims of Christ

Begin with Christ.
Trust the Gospels.
Admire... and worship.
Jesus: “It‟s all about me”.
Jesus‟ claims to be the Son of God.
Just „a great teacher‟?
   We simply can’t go on treating Jesus as a great teacher if
   he was completely mistaken in one of the chief subjects of
                    his teaching—himself.
Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity




3


WHO CHRIST IS:
The Character
of Christ
Basic Christianity                       The Character of Christ

The greatest man who has ever lived?
   It’s not simply that he is better than others, nor even that
   he is the best human being who has ever lived, but that he
        is good—good with the absolute goodness of God.
Basic Christianity                     The Character of Christ

The greatest man who has ever lived?
The man who never did anything wrong?
    Everyone else was a lost sheep; he had come as the Good
              Shepherd to seek and to save them.
         Everyone else was sick with the disease of sin;
         he was the doctor who had come to heal them.
      Everyone else was trapped in the darkness of sin and
            ignorance; he was the light of the world.
Basic Christianity                      The Character of Christ

The greatest man who has ever lived?
The man who never did anything wrong?
What his friends thought about this.
    Peter first describes Jesus as ‘a lamb without blemish or
   defect’ and then says that he ‘He committed no sin, and no
                  deceit was found in his mouth’.
Basic Christianity                       The Character of Christ

The greatest man who has ever lived?
The man who never did anything wrong?
What his friends thought about this.
What his opponents thought about this.
   So when Jesus was on trial for his life, his detractors had
    to hire false witnesses against him. But even then they
   were unable to agree with one another. In fact, the only
      charge they could come up with was not moral but
   political. Time after time, his court appearances made it
                  clear that he was blameless.
Basic Christianity                     The Character of Christ

The greatest man who has ever lived?
The man who never did anything wrong?
What his friends thought about this.
What his opponents thought about this.
The character of Jesus.
    The moral perfection which was quietly claimed by him,
            confidently asserted by his friends and
          reluctantly acknowledged by his enemies,
               is clearly shown in the Gospels.
Basic Christianity                      The Character of Christ

The greatest man who has ever lived?
The man who never did anything wrong?
What his friends thought about this.
What his opponents thought about this.
The character of Jesus.
Explaining the paradox.
             It is this paradox which is so amazing,
    this combination of the self-centredness of his teaching
          and the unself-centredness of his behaviour.
Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity




4


WHO CHRIST IS:
The Resurrection
of Christ
Basic Christianity                       The Resurrection of Christ

What the resurrection of Jesus proves.
    The argument is not that his resurrection establishes his
   deity, but that it fits with it. It is only to be expected that a
   supernatural person would come to and leave the earth in
                          a supernatural way.
Basic Christianity                    The Resurrection of Christ

What the resurrection of Jesus proves.
Evidence to examine.
    We may not feel able to go as far as Thomas Arnold who
    called the resurrection ‘the best attested fact in history’,
   but certainly many impartial investigators have judged the
                 evidence to be extremely good.
Basic Christianity                   The Resurrection of Christ

What the resurrection of Jesus proves.
Evidence to examine.
An empty tomb.
   The tomb was empty. The body had gone. There can be no
    doubt about this fact. The question is how to explain it.
Basic Christianity                    The Resurrection of Christ

What the resurrection of Jesus proves.
Evidence to examine.
An empty tomb.
Undisturbed graveclothes.
     What did Peter see which made him believe? The story
   suggests that it was not just the absence of the body, but
    the presence of the strips of linen and, in particular, the
               fact that they were undisturbed.
Basic Christianity                   The Resurrection of Christ

What the resurrection of Jesus proves.
Evidence to examine.
An empty tomb.
Undisturbed graveclothes.
Seeing Jesus.
   It is unreasonable to dismiss the appearances of Jesus as
   hallucinations being experienced by people with disturbed
       minds. The only alternative left is that they actually
               happened. The risen Lord was seen.
Basic Christianity                   The Resurrection of Christ

What the resurrection of Jesus proves.
Evidence to examine.
An empty tomb.
Undisturbed graveclothes.
Seeing Jesus.
A big change.
     It was the resurrection which transformed Peter’s fear
            into courage, and James’ doubt into faith.
    It was the resurrection which changed Saul the Pharisee
                      into Paul the apostle.
Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity




5


WHAT WE NEED:
The Fact and
Nature of Sin
Basic Christianity                  The Fact and Nature of Sin

Talking about sin.
      Sin is an unpopular subject, and Christians are often
             criticized for going on about it too much.
          But they only do so because they are realists.
                 Sin is a fact of human experience.
Basic Christianity                    The Fact and Nature of Sin

Talking about sin.
Sin - how far it spreads.
               ‘We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
           each of us has turned to his own way’, and
         ‘All of us have become like one who is unclean,
          and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags’.
Basic Christianity                    The Fact and Nature of Sin

Talking about sin.
Sin - how far it spreads.
Sin - what it really is.
   It is either an ideal which we fail to reach, or a law which
    we break. ‘Anyone who knows the good he ought to do
    and doesn’t do it, sins’, says James. That is the negative
    aspect. ‘Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is
       lawlessness’, says John. That is the positive aspect.
Basic Christianity                  The Fact and Nature of Sin

Talking about sin.
Sin - how far it spreads.
Sin - what it really is.
Using the Ten Commandments.
     So much takes place beneath the surface of our lives, in
    the secret places of our minds, which other people do not
   see and which we manage even to conceal from ourselves.
                    But God sees these things.
Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity




6


WHAT WE NEED:
The Consequences
of Sin
Basic Christianity                    The Consequences of Sin

Sin and God.
   If the curtain which veils the indescribable majesty of God
    could be drawn aside—even for a moment—we too would
                   be unable to bear the sight.
Basic Christianity                     The Consequences of Sin

Sin and God.
Captured into slavery.
    It is not so much particular acts or habits which enslave
    us, but rather the evil infection from which these spring.
           This is what lies behind the New Testament
                    description of us as ‘slaves’.
Basic Christianity                      The Consequences of Sin

Sin and God.
Captured into slavery.
Sin and other people.
      Human sin or self-centredness is the cause of all our
     troubles. This is what brings us into conflict with each
   other. If only the spirit of self-assertion could be replaced
    by the spirit of self-sacrifice, our conflicts would cease.
Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity




7


WHAT CHRIST
HAS DONE:
The Death of Christ
Basic Christianity                            The Death of Christ

His death - our freedom.
     Sin caused a separation between us and God; the cross,
   the crucifixion of Christ, has brought us back together. Sin
        made us enemies; the cross has brought peace. Sin
    created a gulf between us and God; the cross has bridged
      it. Sin broke the relationship; the cross has restored it.
Basic Christianity                         The Death of Christ

His death - our freedom.
Why Jesus had to die.
     What the Bible teaches concerning the centrality of the
   cross has been recognized and celebrated by the Christian
   church from the very beginning. The cross is the symbol of
       our faith. The Christian faith is ‘the faith of Christ
      crucified’. There is no Christianity without the cross.
Basic Christianity                         The Death of Christ

His death - our freedom.
Why Jesus had to die.
Light from the Old Testament.
    The Old Testament sacrifices are a visible symbol which
            points forward to the sacrifice of Christ.
Basic Christianity                          The Death of Christ

His death - our freedom.
Why Jesus had to die.
Light from the Old Testament.
Just an inspiring example?
    An example can stir our imagination, kindle our idealism
     and strengthen our resolve, but it cannot remove the
       stains of our past sins, bring peace to our troubled
        conscience or restore our relationship with God.
Basic Christianity                          The Death of Christ

His death - our freedom.
Why Jesus had to die.
Light from the Old Testament.
Just an inspiring example?
Why can‟t God just forgive us?
      We are not to think of Jesus Christ as a third party
    wresting salvation for us from a God who is unwilling to
    save. No. The initiative lay with God himself. ‘God was
           reconciling the world to himself in Christ.’
Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity




8


WHAT CHRIST
HAS DONE:
The Salvation of Christ
Basic Christianity                         The Salvation of Christ

Forgiveness plus!
            God is as much concerned with our present
                     and future as with our past.
    His plan is first to put right our relationship with him, and
   then progressively to set us free from our self-centredness
           and bring us into harmony with other people.
Basic Christianity                        The Salvation of Christ

Forgiveness plus!
How to change human nature.
   Is it possible to make a sour person sweet, a proud person
    humble, or a selfish person unselfish? The Bible declares
    emphatically that these miracles can take place. It is part
   of the wonder of the gospel. Jesus Christ offers to change
      not only our standing before God but our very nature.
Basic Christianity                        The Salvation of Christ

Forgiveness plus!
How to change human nature.
Transformed by the Holy Spirit.
   This is the open secret of how to live as a Christian. It is
  not about us struggling in vain to become more like Jesus,
  but about allowing him, by the power of his Spirit, to come
                and change us from the inside.
Basic Christianity                       The Salvation of Christ

Forgiveness plus!
How to change human nature.
Transformed by the Holy Spirit.
Transformed by the church.
    The church is the place where we find the new quality of
      relationship which Christ himself gives to those who
                         belong to him.
Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity




9


HOW TO
RESPOND:
Counting the Cost
Basic Christianity                             Counting the Cost

A costly business.
    Jesus never concealed the fact that his religion included a
     demand as well as an offer. Indeed, the demand was as
     total as the offer was free. His offer of salvation always
        brings with it the requirement that we obey him.
Basic Christianity                            Counting the Cost

A costly business.
Taking orders from above.
     Many people think that we can enjoy the benefits of
    Christ’s salvation without accepting the challenge of his
      absolute authority. There is no support for such an
             unbalanced idea in the New Testament.
Basic Christianity                              Counting the Cost

A costly business.
Taking orders from above.
How to be sure of God‟s will.
            If you are prepared to do God’s will and
            listening out for him to reveal what it is,
               he will let you know in his own time.
Basic Christianity                            Counting the Cost

A costly business.
Taking orders from above.
How to be sure of God‟s will.
Committed for life.
    It is only as we see the cross that we become willing to
  deny ourselves and follow Christ. Our little crosses are far
   eclipsed by his. Once we catch a glimpse of the greatness
   of his love in willingly suffering such shame and pain for
  us who deserved nothing but judgment, only one course of
                    action will be open to us.
Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity




10


HOW TO
RESPOND:
Reaching a Decision
Basic Christianity                           Reaching a Decision

Volunteers only!
      We cannot remain neutral. Nor can we just drift into
    Christianity. Nor can anyone else settle the matter for us.
                   We must decide for ourselves.
Basic Christianity                          Reaching a Decision

Volunteers only!
Like getting married...
    Christ can enter, cleanse and forgive you in a matter of
   seconds, but it will take much longer for your character to
             be transformed and shaped to his will.
Basic Christianity                         Reaching a Decision

Volunteers only!
Like getting married...
Facing up to what it would mean.
    There can be no resistance, and no attempt to negotiate
    our own terms, but rather an unconditional surrender to
                     the lordship of Christ.
Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity




11


HOW TO
RESPOND:
Being a Christian
Basic Christianity                             Being a Christian

Children of God.
        The Bible clearly distinguishes between the general
    relationship which God has with the whole human race as
      Creator and the special relationship as Father which he
     establishes with those who are his new creation through
                             Jesus Christ.
Basic Christianity                               Being a Christian

Children of God.
Calling God „Father‟.
               God is indeed our Father in heaven,
              who knows our needs before we ask
       and will not fail to give good things to his children.
Basic Christianity                             Being a Christian

Children of God.
Calling God „Father‟.
How we can be sure.
   The basis of how we know that we are in relationship with
    God is not how we feel, but the fact that he says we are.
Basic Christianity                            Being a Christian

Children of God.
Calling God „Father‟.
How we can be sure.
Christianity in practice.
              There are two main areas in which
              we are meant to grow as Christians.
                 The first is in understanding
                  and the second in holiness.
Basic Christianity                             Being a Christian

Children of God.
Calling God „Father‟.
How we can be sure.
Christianity in practice.
Joining a church.
     If we are born again into God’s family, not only has he
    become our Father but every other believer in the world,
    whatever their nation or denomination, has become our
                   brother or sister in Christ.
Basic Christianity                             Being a Christian

Children of God.
Calling God „Father‟.
How we can be sure.
Christianity in practice.
Joining a church.
How to make a difference.
   Every Christian should be deeply concerned about others.
     And it is part of our Christian calling to serve them in
                     whatever ways we can.
Basic Christianity

								
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