So what does it mean when we say we have faith, belief, trust?
God created an agreement with people. They would have eternal life in heaven if:
- they accepted Jesus died to save us from our sins, and
- we live our lives by Jesus’ example
Our hope is to be saved in our life after our earthly death. Up to Jesus’ time people were taught they would be saved if they made sacrifices of (innocent) animals, by giving harvest gifts in the temple and observing celebrations like the Passover. This was the way to get forgiveness from God for doing things that were wrong, as a way to please God, and as a remembrance of how God had saved their ancestors from slavery.
Jesus was a person who spoke about and did what God really wanted. This is not about big signs of religious ceremony. It is about:
- actually being kind to each other, and
- do to others, what we want done to us
And not just towards friends and family, but to strangers and to people who don’t like us too.
God allowed Jesus to be wrongly accused and then executed (i.e. he was innocent). God then made Jesus come back from the dead to live again. In doing so, God demonstrated power over death. This shows us we don’t have to make sacrifices in the temple to be saved. The power and will to save us rests with God. We call on this when we ask for forgiveness and try not to do wrong.
Jesus was the son of God, and in living the example Jesus gave we can be part of this family too. If you can believe that we receive love from God, you can let go of pride and self-centered living. You won’t need them if you believe that God loves you, and your life will continue on to the next – and what more do we need than that?
It may surprise you that Christians believe that after death we live on: immune to physical suffering, free from weakness, led by our souls rather than our bodily needs, and outwardly radiant.
For more on eternal life in heaven (light in your life) and putting your faith into action, have a look at the options in the menu. Pages like Light in your Life – Next Steps and Light in your life may be of interest.