Being a Christian
Christian life is lived in relationship with God through Jesus Christ and, in common with other Christians, seeks to deepen that relationship and to follow the way that Jesus taught.
Central to that relationship is knowing that we can trust God. St Paul says at the end of the eighth chapter of his letter to the Church in Rome, “if God is for us, who can be against us”? And this is the heart of our faith.
How do we know that “God is for us”? Because Jesus Christ, the one human being who is completely in tune with God, has carried the burden of our human betrayals of running away from God’s goodness. He has let himself be betrayed and rejected, He has been executed in a humiliating and agonising way, and yet He has not turned his back on us. Death did not succeed in silencing him or removing him from the world. He is alive; and that means that his love is alive, having survived the worst that we can do.
Nothing – says St Paul in the same passage – can separate us from this love. But this isn’t an excuse for doing what we like, knowing we can get away with it. Once we know that God is ‘for us’, we open up to the gift that He wants to give us – which is a share in his own love and freedom and mercy. We breathe with his breath – that’s part of what it means to say that we receive God’s ‘Holy Spirit’.
The Holy Spirit makes us live like Jesus so that we are ‘in tune’ with God. The Holy Spirit lives inside of us and leads us on living a Christian life. The Spirit is part of what we call ‘The Holy Trinity’ – God, Jesus and The Spirit together as one. None of the three parts are separate to each other – they are all an equal part of the same being, each being a part of God’s love and salvation.
If we have really taken the message in, we shall live lives of selfless generosity, always asking how the gifts given us – material or imaginative or spiritual or whatever – can be shared in a way that brings other people to be more fully alive. And we shall be able to trust the generosity of others and be free to receive what they have to give us.
We know of the generosity and gratitude and have confidence that when we fail we are still loved – all of this focused on Jesus’ life and death and resurrection. That’s where we start in the lifelong job of being a Christian.
Adapted from a piece written by Baron Williams of Oystermouth (former Archbishop of Canterbury).
Being an Anglican
The Scriptures and the Gospels, the Apostolic Church and the early Church Fathers, are the foundation of Anglican faith and worship in the 44 self-governing churches that make up the Anglican Communion.
The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It worships the one true God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It professes the faith that is uniquely revealed in the Bible and set forth in the Catholic Creeds (the statements of faith developed in the Early Church that are still used in the Church’s worship today). The Church is called to proclaim that faith afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit, the Church of England bore witness to Christian truth in historic texts that were developed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal (services for ordaining bishops, priests and deacons).
The Church of England is called, as are all Churches, to carry forward the work that Jesus Christ began in all aspects of the life of people in society. As Christians we follow Jesus who said “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20.21). We are called to serve God’s mission by living and proclaiming the good news. “It’s not the church of God that has a mission, but the God of mission who has a church”.
For Anglican Christians God’s mission is about transformation – transforming individual lives, transforming communities and transforming the world. As we follow Jesus Christ, we believe that God’s mission is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in three ways:
- through the Bible
- through the tradition and life of the Church
- through our own listening, praying, thinking and sharing as we respond to our own context.
For more information on the mission and outreach programs that we have around our benefice please click here.
Find out More
There are lots of ways to find out more about the Church of England and what being a Christian is all about. One of the best ways is to visit a church and to get to know the community of believers. The best way to understand the Christian faith is to experience it for yourself amongst those who share in it. Any one of our churches would welcome you openly or you can contact us to find out more.
To find out more about the Church of England then please visit their website, where some of this text has come from.