What is the Christian faith?
Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the anointed of God. The prophets of the Old Testament announced his coming. He is the eternal ‘Word of God’ (John 1:1), the Son of God and at the same time God himself, who revealed himself as a person. The people of the early church summarized this apparent contradiction in the terse formula: Jesus Christ is ‘true man and true God’. In him God shows his face to creation: ‘And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth…No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known’ (John 1:14,18).
Jesus Christ came into the world to reconcile to God all who believe in him. His death on the cross and resurrection heal the rift between God and his creatures. They restore the broken relationship between creator and creation.
Believing in Jesus Christ means trusting him without reservation. Reformed Christians have placed particular emphasis on the event of faith. Faith comes from listening to God’s word. Through his word, God himself brings about faith in those who listen. For the Reformers, faith is an art of listening that owes itself to God’s gift of listening. God speaks and at the same time makes people receptive to his word.
The relationship with God depends on how God addresses the faithful, and on how he enters into a relationship with them. To the same extent that faith emerges from a personal relationship with God, it is also closely linked to the community of the faithful. Faith means walking together in the world in fellowship: with everyone who was, is and will be on this path. This is the worldwide church of Jesus Christ.