What is at the heart of the Christian faith?  The better question is this: who is at the heart of the Christian faith?  Martin Luther, a pastor and Bible teacher, answered that question by searching the Bible.  He discovered that all the Scriptures (both the Old and New Testaments) point to Jesus Christ alone.  Jesus Himself said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me” (John 5:39).

Take Jesus out of the message of the Church or out of a person’s faith, and it is no longer Christian!  Christianity is solidly based on the saving work of Jesus Christ for the rescue and redemption of the world.  Christians have a rich and exciting message about Jesus.  He is at the center of what we believe, how we worship, and what we do! 

We love to be asked our opinion and hear the word on the street.  Who is popular and who is not?  Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  They gave a variety of answers – all missing the mark.  Then he asked them the important question: “But who do you say I am?”  One of Jesus’ followers, Peter, gave the answer that was commended: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13, 15-16).  


People today also have a variety of opinions about Jesus.  He is considered a good man, a prophet, a figment of the imagination, a miracle worker, and many other things.  Christians understand and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity.  Jesus is not simply one holy man among many.  He is God in the flesh for the salvation and redemption of the world.

While other religions teach that something must be done to earn God’s favor and salvation, Christianity teaches that Jesus has already secured our salvation through His life, death, and resurrection.  God reaches out to people in Christ, rather than people reaching out to God.  In fact, the Apostle Peter said, “And there is salvation in no one else [than Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). 


*** Adapted from Lutheranism 101 – 2nd Edition (Concordia Publishing House, 2015)