We asked students what they think Christianity is about...
Over a period of two months we surveyed and interviewed our fellow students on campuses throughout Copenhagen to hear their perspective on faith, God, and the role of the church in Danish society. After reviewing the results of this investigation to look for major trends in what students believe we want to ask...
...what if there's more?
What if there's more to Christianity than being a good person?
When we asked them what they think Christianity is about, many students were quick to respond with “love,” “acceptance,” “helping other people,” etc. But is there more to Christianity than being a good person? To answer this, we must begin by clarifying what we mean by “Christianity.” We suggest that Christianity can be defined simply as a belief system based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible.
What did Jesus actually say and do? Were his teachings simply a set of moral guidelines and life principles? How does Jesus fit into the rest of the Bible’s storyline?
To explore these questions further let’s watch this short video on a central theme in the Bible:
As this video described, the Bible tells the story of how God is rescuing his creation from the effects of evil and brokenness and is establishing his Kingdom through Jesus. In other words, there is so much more to Christianity than simply trying to be good; in fact the Bible diagnoses the human condition as one of brokenness. Many of us may sometimes strive to be good people, but the division, pain, and suffering in our own lives, relationships, and the world around us is evidence that we consistently fail to live up to even our own standards.
Nevertheless, the good news of the gospel is that through his death and resurrection, Jesus confronts and deals with the consequences of sin and evil and opens the door to a new future.
Today, people can be transformed by Jesus' divine life and power as we await the promised day when God will restore the world and remove brokenness completely.
Some people might suggest that the Jesus we read about in the Bible is different from the Jesus of history and that these claims and stories are legendary. However, given how early the first records of Jesus’ life were written there simply was not enough time for a legendary story to develop and replace the truth about who Jesus was and what he said and did. Consider also that many of Jesus’ earliest followers were persecuted and even killed for spreading what they claimed were the teachings of Jesus—why would they die for a lie?
If we accept the earliest records of Jesus life we are left with three options. Either Jesus was a liar who knew that he was not the Messiah but wilfully attempted to deceive people, or he was a lunatic who genuinely believed these things about himself when in fact they were not true, or he was and is who he claimed to be—the Lord and saviour of the world.
It seems very unlikely that Jesus was lying about who he was given that his claims eventually got him executed. Who would be willing to die for a lie? What did Jesus stand to gain by lying?
Similarly, Jesus never showed signs of being a madman. Instead his life is characterized by selfless love, intelligent and bold communication with the religious leaders of his day, and incredible self-control even in the midst of his betrayal and arrest.
Could it be that Jesus was and is who he said he was?
As this video described, Jesus doesn’t come out of nowhere and start making a bunch of claims about himself. Instead, he comes at the climax of the incredible and true story about God’s promise to rescue a broken world from the effects of evil and death. And the amazing claim that Jesus makes is that because of his death and resurrection he has power over evil and death and can bring healing to the brokenness in our lives
What if Jesus was more than a teacher, prophet, or spiritual leader?
Almost all of the students we surveyed and interviewed had only positive things to say about Jesus, describing him as a good person who had and continues to have great influence. Over 75% of students surveyed believe that Jesus was a teacher, prophet, or spiritual leader.
But what if there’s more to Jesus?
The problem with the idea that Jesus was simply a moral teacher is that Jesus never gave us this option. If we reflect honestly on the life and teaching of Jesus we find that he himself claimed to be far more than a teacher or a spiritual leader.
Among other things, Jesus claimed that he was the promised and long-awaited Messiah sent by God to save the world and establish God’s Kingdom (John 3:16; Mark 1:15; Luke 4:16–21). He claimed that he was one with God (John 10:27–33), that he had authority to forgive sins and heal the sick (Mark 2:12–18), and that all of these claims would be proven true when he was crucified and would rise again from the dead three days later (Luke 18:31–33).
To explore Jesus’ claims further, let’s watch this short video on another central theme in the Bible:
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The question that remains is how will you respond to Jesus?
Who are we?
AgapeLiv is a Christian student community that is passionate about connecting people to Jesus.
No matter what you believe or where you are in your journey, we welcome you to join us as we meet on and off-campus to explore life's biggest questions and discuss topics that are relevant to our everyday experience. For more info about our next meeting, visit us online.
Throughout his ministry Jesus constantly invited people to follow him, promising that they would find forgiveness, healing, hope, and the perfect love of God.
This is an invitation that remains available to us today.