There is one God who exists in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He made all things and created humans in His image for a relationship with Him.
However, the first humans (Adam and Eve) broke this relationship by disobeying God’s commands. Adam and Eve passed along a nature that rebels against God and His commands to every human being. Because of our rebellion, also known as sin, all humans stand under the judgment of God.
But God, out of His great love for sinful humans, sent Jesus Christ to restore that relationship. Jesus, who is God the Son, took on human flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary. He then lived a perfect life – the life every human should have lived. He taught God’s ways to the world and performed many miracles. Even though Jesus had done nothing wrong, he was arrested and died the most shameful and painful death possible because He was crucified on a cross.
That is not the end of the story, though. Three days later Jesus rose from the dead. He appeared to individuals and groups over a span of 40 days, teaching them God’s word and transforming his fearful followers into bold witnesses of his resurrection. Jesus then returned to heaven, promising to return in the future to eliminate all evil and bring about a perfect, new creation.
In the meantime, Jesus told his followers to proclaim this message throughout the world: those who believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior are forgiven of their sins and restored into a right relationship with God. This is because Jesus was meant to be our substitute, offering a great exchange – he takes the punishment that our rebelliousness and sin deserves and we receive the perfection He achieved in his life. When we place our faith not in ourselves but in Jesus and what He has done for us, turning from our sinful life to Christ, our relationship with God is restored now and forever. People who do this are called Christians.
With this restored relationship and hope for the future comes the gift of the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of Christians to transform their lives from ones of rebellion towards God to ones of obedience to the way that God, our Creator, intended for us to live.
With this restored relationship also comes a family, known as the Church – other Christians. This family of God helps us follow God, reminding us of the truth of the Christian faith as we gather together.