St Bartholomews Church, Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland - Church of England
St Bartholomew's Church
Menu

Exploring Christian Faith

Being a Christian

By Baron Williams of Oystermouth

Christian life is lived in relationship with God through Jesus Christ and, in common with other Christians, seeking to deepen that relationship and to follow the way that Jesus taught.

Central to that relationship is knowing we can trust God.  Saint 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 faith.

How do we know that 'God is for us'? Because Jesus Christ, the one human being who is completely in tune with God - with what God wants and what God is doing - has carried the burden of our human betrayals of God and running away from goodness.  He has let himself be betrayed and rejected, executed in a humiliating and agonising way, and yet 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 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 God 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 'Spirit', which makes us live like Jesus 'in tune' with God.  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 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.

Generosity, gratitude, 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.

Baron Williams of Oystermouth.

Archbishop of Canterbury

From the Church of England website

 

 
Also in this section
bullet Confirmation
bullet Exploring Christian Faith
bullet The Big Question
bullet 'So what shall I do with my life now?'
bullet Resources and Downloads
bullet Learning Links
Quick links
bullet Links to other websites
bullet Contact Us
bullet Directions and Maps
bullet Who's Who
bullet Vicar's Letter
bullet Church Calendar
bullet Facebook Page

Find us on Facebook - click hereSt Bartholomew's Church, Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland
Revd Peter Sinclair, The Vicarage, Front Street, Newbiggin by the Sea UK
Telephone: 01670 817220