St. Mary the Virgin Little Burstead
What do we believe
Most important of all, we believe God loves this world passionately and tenderly, and that through His Son Jesus Christ it is possible for every person to receive God`s love for themselves and live in it.
How does this work? We believe that all humankind has sinned against God so grievously (this means we have ignored Him and ignored His commands for how we are to live our lives) that our sin has become a barrier that separates us from Him. That is very bad news! But Christianity is all about the good news that God loves this world so much that, at great cost to Himself, he made it possible for our relationship with Him to be restored.
This was why Jesus Christ, God`s Son, came into the world. He lived as a man like any other – but lived the only perfect, sinless life that has ever been lived. When His life was ended by the brutal execution method of crucifixion, He gave His life as a perfect sacrifice for the sin of humankind. The Bible tells us that God is love; but He is also perfect justice. This means He could not just ‘let us off’ our sin. It had to be paid for, and it was Jesus who paid the price for it. His death meant the barrier of our sin which separated us from God is gone! The Bible tells us that we may now approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12).
It is important to say that Jesus` execution would have been just like any other person`s except for one vital thing: Jesus didn`t stay dead! God raised Him up from death to be alive in His presence for ever – and everyone who believes in Jesus gets to follow Him through physical death into eternal life, which is not just life that goes on for ever, but a whole different quality and order of life, which flows out of a rich personal knowledge of God.
We believe that everyone who believes in Jesus has Him living in them by the Holy Spirit, who gives Christians spiritual power to be able to live lives that please God.
How do we know all this? We believe the Bible to be ‘God`s book’ in which He shows us:-
What He is like
How we can know Him
How He wants us to live
‘God`s book’ is shorthand for saying God inspired the human beings who physically wrote the Bible, so that it contains in it everything we need to be in relationship with Him and live our lives for Him. At St. Mary`s, the sermon on Sundays tries to explain a passage from the Bible in order to help people understand God better and live their lives for His glory – and make the world a better place.