This is a great clip featuring Mark Driscoll from his sermon, Christ the Lord (transcript follows):
Which leads us to Christianity. Why I tell you this is I don’t want you to interject Jesus into a false ideology. See, some people are so familiar with this birth story of Jesus and the nativity set on the mantel over the fireplace of their home, that they have this prevailing worldview that they just stick Jesus in. And he’s Christ the Lord, like the angel said. And Christianity is this- and this is where Christianity is different.
Christianity is not a world religion. It’s the truth. It’s about Jesus.
And the story is that God is Creator. He’s eternally existing. He is a spirit being, that he is the Creator who made the physical world. The heavens and the earth, all that is. And God made us male and female in his image and likeness, with dignity, value, and worth. And God spoke to us in relationship and he gave us moral commands to obey so that we might enjoy life. And instead, we chose death. We chose to follow Satan rather than God, to choose death over life, lies over truth. And traded intimacy with God, for hiding from God. And because of our sin, creation was affected. And everything is stained and marred by sin.
And God came, in Genesis 3:15, and he promised to our parents that he would come into human history as a man born of a woman. And again, the Old Testament prophets declared that he’d be born before 70 A.D. (when the temple was destroyed), that he would go to the temple. That he would be born to the virgin woman. That he would be born in the town of Bethlehem. That his name would be Immanuel, God with us. And he would come as the Savior. The angel Gabriel told Mary to name him Jesus, which means, “He is our savior.” And that the Creator would enter his creation. That God would come among us. And that he would come as our savior. That he would come to live in poverty and humility and simplicity. That he would come made like us to identify with us. That he would suffer. That he would be betrayed. That he would be abused. That he would be berated and belittled. That he would ultimately be shamed and mocked and scorned, and that we would do that to him. That we would kill God. And that God would willingly die in our place, for our sins. And that he would rise to give salvation. And that he would reconcile sinners to their God because he is the God-man who can reconcile man to God. And so we come from God, that we belong to God, that we’re here for God and his glory. And that God is here with us. And that one day we’ll stand before God and experience a perfect eternity with God where sin and all of its affects are no more.
The way this works itself out in life is absolutely practical. I really get frustrated when people say things like, “I’m not into philosophy or theology, I just want practical.” Well, what you think determines how you live. And what you think determines how you suffer. And what you think determines how you die.
And what I love is this: God has come to make himself seen and known. Don’t you love that? You get intimations of this in the Old Testament. There’s Jacob, trickster, con man. Ladder comes down from heaven. Ah, God comes down to be with us. Moses is leading the children of Israel, pillar of cloud, leading them. God comes down to lead them. The Ark of the Covenant is built; God comes down to be with his people. The Temple is built and in the Holy of Holies, God comes down to be with his people. The story of the Bible is, over and over, God saying, “I come down to you, you don’t go up to me. It’s about me being humbled, not you being religious.” And then Jesus comes, born of a woman. Comes humbly into human history. He comes as our savior.
You know that atheism, deism, monism, theism, the one thing they all have in common is, God is not the savior. In theism you’re your own savior. In the others there is no savior. In Christianity, God is the savior. He’s the hero. He’s the rescuer. He’s the redeemer. He’s the hope. I don’t know about you, that sounds like good news to me. If there is no hope, that’s not good news. If I’m the hope, that’s not good news either. If he’s the hope, well, that’s good news right there.